Chandra Levy murder: Ingmar Guandique's lawyers want new trial

Ingmar Guandique was convicted in 2010 of Chandra Levy's murder. Photo: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawyers for the man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy say his prosecution was "predicated on a lie," and they intend to file a motion for a new trial.

The arguments from attorneys for Ingmar Guandique were included in records of previously closed hearings in the case that were unsealed Tuesday.

Levy was an intern for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons whose 2001 murder attracted attention because of her romantic relationship with a California congressman. Guandique is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador and was convicted in 2010. He is serving a 60-year prison sentence.

The case hinged on a jailhouse informant who said Guandique had confessed to killing Levy. The documents show prosecutors learned a year ago about a problem with a witness but it's not clear if that person was the informant.

Although Guandique allegedly boasted about killing a woman in the park and attacked two other women who survived, some have long wondered if he's the real killer.

D.C. resident Evan Roth said, "There was certainly a lot of controversy surrounding how they finally arrived at it."

Prosecutors want to keep information about the witness sealed.

Defense attorney James Klein said, "It's extraordinary...they're asking everybody to keep secret the fact that [in] one of the major prosecutions in this courthouse in years a real question has arisen about the truthfulness [of a] government witness."

But prosecutors write:

"The disclosure of this new information creates a serious risk of harm to the witness."

In Dupont Circle, near Levy's old apartment, some can't believe the case is still making news.

Tiffany Velishka of D.C. said, "It's in the past and seems like there was a fair trial and move forward."

But others disagree.

"You've got to follow all the leads just to make sure. You're better off doing that than to let him sit in prison if he didn't do it," district resident John McCarthy added.
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