The 2010 conviction in the Chandra Levy murder is now in question because a key witness for the prosecution may no longer be considered credible.
But until now, the courts have kept the public and even the Levy family in the dark about the circumstances.
Ingmar Guandique was convicted of killing Levy. The evidence was entirely circumstantial and there was no scientific evidence presented.
The illegal Salvadoran immigrant already was incarcerated, convicted of assaulting two women in Rock Creek Park about the time of Levy's disappearance.
Among the witnesses who implicated Guandique was a fellow inmate. The inmate testified Guandique talked about the killing in detail. Now a series of hearings have taken place about the integrity of one of the witnesses.
Judge Gerald Fisher has held two recent hearings in the case and barred the public and press from hearing the majority of both proceedings. Fisher said he sealed a portion of the first hearing because of "safety issues." The media also want to attend another hearing scheduled for Thursday and future hearings.
On Wednesday, attorneys argued about whether the public should be allowed into a hearing Thursday to discuss these new revelations.
Levy vanished from her Dupont Circle apartment back in 2001. A year later her remains were found in a secluded section of Rock Creek Park.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.