Accused killer of Chandra Levy back on trial

Chandra Levy
Chandra Levy
Photo taken in 1994 by Jon Michael Terry

The man found guilty in 2010 of murdering 24-year-old Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy has been granted a new trial.

District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher, who presided over the original trial and sentenced Ingmar Guandique to 60 years in prison, set aside the verdict during a brief hearing Thursday and then granted the defendant’s motion for a new trial.

The government withdrew its opposition to Guandique’s request for a new trial, paving the way for a new trial, which will include a different judge and jury.

The date of the new trial is to be decided at a June 12 status hearing before Judge Robert Morin.

Guandique’s attorneys have continually protested that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not reveal that their primary witness, Armando Morales, previously had cooperated with Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, the FBI and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department in cases related to leaders of Mexican drug gangs.

Instead, the defense claims that Morales was allowed to present himself in court as someone who had never before cooperated with authorities and was uncomfortable with the information he had shared about Guandique.

The case was unsolved for many years, marred by distracting revelations about Levy’s intimate relationship with the married, former Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.)

Guandique had served time for other assaults on women in the same park around the same time, but he was not connected to the Levy murder until 2009, when he was arrested based on testimony from Morales. At that time, there was no DNA evidence and few other leads in the case.

Levy’s remains were found in Rock Creek Park.

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