Do you guys remember her? She's the Congressional intern who disappeared before 9/11 and all fingers were pointed at a Congressman, Gary Condit. Then 9/11 happened, and this whole story sort of took a back seat to that. I remember someone pointing out, tongue-in-cheek, that Condit might have been the only person in America who breathed a sigh of relief on Sept 11, 2001. Well, fast forward 10 years and Levy's killer is convicted and given 60 years. But the story to his conviction seems more likely to be a conspiracy than the event that originally pushed it aside.
WASHINGTON — The man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison.
In November, a jury convicted Ingmar Guandique of first-degree murder in Levy's 2001 disappearance and death, despite a lack of witnesses and no DNA evidence linking him to the crime.
Levy's mother, Susan Levy, asked Guandique directly if he had been responsible for her daughter's death. He shook his head.
"Mr. Guandique, you are lower than a cockroach," Susan Levy told Guandique, before closing her statement by using the F-word.
Guandique, wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, told the judge in Spanish that he was sorry for what happened. But, he added, "I had nothing to do with it. I am innocent."
Levy's disappearance became a national sensation after she was romantically linked to then-California Rep. Gary Condit. Police initially focused on Condit as a suspect. But after Levy's remains were found in Rock Creek Park, police shifted their focus to Guandique, who was already serving a prison sentence for attacking female joggers in the park in the same time frame Levy disappeared.
The District of Columbia Superior Court judge also rejected Guandique's request for a new trial. His lawyers had argued Guandique should be granted a new trial because jurors improperly shared notes in reaching a verdict. They also argued prosecutors improperly appealed to the jury's emotions and facts that weren't part of trial evidence in making a graphic closing argument.
In response, prosecutors said the sharing of juror notes, if it happened, was at most a technical violation that did not substantially affect the trial's outcome.
Prosecutors had asked for a life prison sentence, arguing that Guandique showed no remorse and had a history of violence toward women. They said Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, fled his village in that country as a teenager because he was suspected of attacking a woman at knifepoint.
From Oct 2010:
There's no physical evidence linking him to the crime, he never confessed to police, and he even passed a lie detector test in the case, though prosecutors now question the validity of that test.
"All the prosecution really has, as far as we know, is the fact that Guandique told his fellow inmates that he killed Chandra Levy," The Washington Post's Keith Alexander tells CBS News.
The prosecution's case against Ingmar Guandique, the man they believe murdered federal intern Chandra Levy in 2001, ended abruptly Wednesday after a forensic expert testified that they found DNA from former congressman Gary Condit on underwear recovered from Levy's apartment.
Prosecutors also dropped two attempted sexual assault charges against Ingmar Guandique. ... The prosecution called only one witness who could tie Guandique directly to the crime, a former cellmate of his.
In summary, if you're an immigrant with a violent history and:
1. The state has no DNA 2. The state has no witness 3. The only testimony is from a convicted criminal who probably had his sentence lessened (or received a benefit) for testifying, and 4. The only DNA that could be found was tied to the original suspect who happens to be a Congressman
That's sufficient to get you 60 years in jail.
Either the media is leaving out something really key here, or this story is
StlSluggers wrote:Either the media is leaving out something really key here, or this story is
wasn't Condit a Dem? good luck getting the media to look into that.
His affiliation has little to do with this.
I would imagine there are several media sources friendly to conservative values who would be willing to look into this.
Of course, that's to assume there are any remaining media outlets who haven't long ago laid down the last vestiges of journalistic integrity, which is of course not true.
What's Gary Condit doing these days? Nothing? That's why this won't get much press - there's no juicy soundbite-filled story here. Nobody cares about Gary Condit anymore. Has nothing to do with him being a Democrat.
StlSluggers wrote:I could care less about political affiliation. I'm just shocked that a guy could get convicted, let alone get 60 years, with what seems to be practically no evidence at all.
Fisher (the judge) acknowledged that the prosecution's case "wasn't a very strong" one - and was based on circumstantial evidence. Fisher said the strongest evidence linking Guandique to Levy's death included Guandique's previous attacks on two female joggers, testimony from witnesses who placed Guandique in the park at the time Levy disappeared and the testimony of Guandique's cellmate, Armando Morales, who said Guandique admitted to him that he killed Levy in the park.
Under sentencing guidelines, Guandique faced a minimum of 30 years in prison, which Guandique's attorneys argued was more than enough.
But prosecutors asked Fisher to sentence Guandique to life in prison without parole. Fisher said he considered Guandique's previous convictions for burglary and assault and about 30 infractions prosecutors claimed Guandique had committed while serving a 10-year prison sentence for attacking two women in Rock Creek Park about the time Levy disappeared.