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Prosecution to rest in Levy case

By Henri Cauvin

Update: 12:50 p.m.:

In a surprise announcement, prosecutors said Wednesday afternoon that they plan to rest their case later today against the man charged with killing Chandra Levy.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines said the government was also dropping charges that the defendant, Ingmar Guandique, tried to sexually assault Levy.

Prosecutors had been expected to call an inmate who was to testify that Guandique said he sexually assaulted Levy. But the decision to rest means the government had decided not to call the inmate and that decision all but necessitated dropping the sexual assault charge.

Even after those counts of the indictment are dismissed, Guandique, 29, still faces charges of kidnapping and attempted robbery as well as murder charges.

It is unclear how long a case, if any, the defense will present. Previously, Guandique's attorneys have said that they would need one or two days to present their case.

Original Post:

Testimony has resumed at the murder trial for Ingmar Guandique, the man accused of killing former federal intern Chandra Levy.

And the name of Gary Condit roared back into the forefront.

FBI forensic examiner Alan Giusti testified that the semen found in Levy's underwear that were found in her apartment when she went missing in 2001 matched former California Congressman Gary A. Condit.

The testimony comes about a week after Condit declined on the witness stand to describe the nature of his relationship with Levy.

Giusti is an examiner in the nuclear DNA unit at the FBI lab in Quantico. His testimony about Condit came under direct questioning from prosecutors.

The disclosure allows the defense to ask even more questions about Condit, who was originally a suspect in Levy's disappearance.

-- Henri Cauvin

[This post has been updated.]


More on this story: Full coverage | Major events | Key players

By Henri Cauvin  | November 10, 2010; 1:00 PM ET
Categories:  Chandra Levy, From the Courthouse, Homicide  
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Comments

Sheesh. This is a murder trial, not a reliving of the (irrelevant) fact that Chandra had an affair with a married man.

Posted by: HillRat | November 10, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree, HillRat! Levy made the mistake of having an affair with a married man. Condit, a real slimeball, had the misfortune of having an affair with someone who was murdered. But there is nothing connecting him to the murder.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | November 10, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

I thought I was reading the Washington Post. This material is more like the contents of the Enquirer.

Posted by: blackforestcherry | November 10, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Why would they not persue the unidentified male whose DNA was found on Levy's clothing?

Acquit.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 10, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The police had their suspect, but because of his position as a lawmaker, they bungled the case against him. How to get away with murder: just be important, and huffily refuse to answer police questions that you regard out-of-line. Anyone know of another prime suspect who would be treated this way? If you or any other ordinary citizen were question, would we be allowed not to discuss aspects of our relationsip with a dead girl. As far as this immigrant is concerned, I don't think I have ever seen a case more poorly put together. Why is this guy even on trial, except he is a creep that may or may not have been involved in assaults on women in Rock Creek Park.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | November 10, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The prosecution is relying heavily on another witness who quoted Guandique as saying that he killed Levy but did not rape her:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/04/AR2010110407705.html

If the prosecutors put up another witness with a different story, the jury might discount both stories, and then there would be no case at all. So the prosecutors decided to give up the rape charge and hope the murder charge will stick.

But without the rape charge, I wonder if there is enough evidence for a kidnapping or robbery conviction. And without one of those other felonies, there doesn't seem to be enough evidence to convict on 1st degree murder.

I expect the defense will ask the judge to dismiss additional charges before it begins its case.

It's really a shame that the police didn't find Levy's body sooner, when they could have gathered more evidence.

Posted by: pundito | November 10, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It's important that you keep the pot boiling and steaming here. Any more irrelevant sex evidence?

Posted by: dcc1968 | November 10, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, there's been so talk of panties and jogging bras and sexual affairs with the congressman, that dropping the sex charges leaves nothing.

Still, I can't figure out why Guandique would later go after women who were taller and heavier than he was after little Chandra clawed up so badly.

He's 100% a copy-cat.

Never even knew Chandra was 5'3", 110 lbs when he attacked women who were 5'10", 160 and 6'0", 160 lbs.

Back to square one.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 10, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

WHY ! Wasn't he DEPORTED the FIRST time he was caught ?????? Yes he was an Illegal WAPO never likes to mention that !

Posted by: catinhat83510496 | November 10, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I personally think the case has numerous holes in it and doubt that this prosecutor will ever get a conviction. I think this is the main reason she is now withdrawing the sexual assault charges, because she can't prove it. I do think that Chandra Levy was sexually assaulted and then stabbed in or near her spine. This prosecutor is running scared in my opinion and trying to clear her charges away so she doesn't end up with an acquittal on any more of the charges than she has to swallow. I don't see this trial ending any anything near the conviction they originally thought they might get.
But only time and the jurors can tell.

Posted by: k.jarrell01@comcast.net | November 10, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

GARY CONDIT committed the perfect crime! He had her meet him, had her killed or killed her himself. All because of his career. This other cat didnt do and it isnt a STRANGE coincidence that she died near Condit's home close to ROCK CREEK PARK. Geez, will someone wake up.

Posted by: Fred23 | November 10, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The government allowing Condit to "decline" to answer puts reasonable doubt all over this case. You can expect a not guilty verdict if the jurors honor their oath.

Posted by: borntoraisehogs | November 10, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

At least the voters of California voted out Gary Condit. What a poor excuse for a man.

Posted by: bobbo2 | November 10, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Lets hope that the judge has some guts this time and orders Condit to answer questions. This "I don't think its necessary" crap that he got away with last week is unheard of. If it had been some black dude from southeast who said that the judge would have him locked up.

Posted by: MKadyman | November 10, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I believe Guandique is guilty, as do most of the jurors (I'd imagine), but there is reasonable doubt all over this case. Don't be surprised if he's acquitted.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | November 10, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if anyone else remembers this detail, but after she first disappeared, Condit was caught "disposing" of some personal items in a dumpster! Talk about drawing suspicion to oneself...he made up some story about getting rid of stuff she gave him because of the affair or some other nonsensical excuse, but the fact remained a lot of people (myself included) had a strong suspicion he was involved in some way in her disappearance.

Posted by: DCSucks | November 10, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

If I was on that jury, I could not vote to convict Guandique. And if I was the judge, and that is all the prosecution has to offer, I would tell the D.A. to dismiss it. That way if they find something else that is concrete, they could retry him. If they continue to the end with this one, and the jury lets him go, that is the end of the case because Guandique cannot be tried twice for the same case.
Why did they even bring this to court if this is all they had?. The closest they have come is a statement of a convicted felon who said Guandique told him. There's no DNA proof, nothing else. There is far more evidence of Condit involvement, including a motive and certainly obstruction of justice. What a screwed up case.

Posted by: edwardallen54 | November 10, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

This trial proves that our justice system is seriously flawed.

First, it failed to invesigate Condit (Influential person of course)

Second, when there is no EVIDENCE against a poor person (no judgement on wether he is guily or innocent) we put him in jail with criminals who would testify to anything the police/prosecuters say (to get themselves off easy). Let us see if jury is impartial or it too just punishes the poor. Note also that the person who attempted to kill President Regan got away (had a lot of money).

Note that by this procedure you could convict anybody who does not have the money/influence to defend himself/herself. Just put the person in jail and have criminals testify against the person.

Our justice system is the best that money or influence can buy. Therefore do not expect justice if you are poor.

Posted by: JusticeForAll1939 | November 10, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The only American who was glad on 9/11 was democratGary Condit.

Posted by: carlbatey | November 10, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Why is it no one points out the similarities between the way Chandra Levy, Jonbennet Ramsey and Laci & Connor Peterson were found?
Scott Peterson reportedly tried to get a "Contract" out on Laci with a motorcycle gang, and Condit is the only Congressman in history to belong to one, the Hell's Angels.
Yet, Condit's lawywer, used by Scott, sold him down the river...
It was a common perception that Mr. Ramsey might have been a pedophile and his wife an "Enabler," in fact the oldest daughter died unexpectedly, as well. If you try hard, you can find an internet photo of Ramsey and Condit, "Good friends."
All with bashed or missing heads, found later if at all not specifically where other remains are found... Partially dismembered to death disemboweled bodies where (Trophies?) are missing... The use of underwear and duct tape for ligatures...
If you want the gory details of how this husband and wife team got into Congress (Why it's so messed up for the subsequent blackmailing by the enemy) with their "Sexual Political Embarrassment Disposal Service) go to www.rickhyatt.freeservers.com & page down to Menulinks: The Condit Transcript
Why they always do it the same way, as is if to terroristically point to some unknown "Serial Killer."

Posted by: rickahyatt | November 13, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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