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Posted at 4:08 PM ET, 11/15/2010

Inmate testifies at Levy trial

By Henri Cauvin

Defense lawyers on Monday took their best shot at countering the most damaging prosecution testimony in the trial of Ingmar Guandique, the man charged with killing Chandra Levy.

Seeking to rebut an ex-cellmate who says Guandique admitted killing Levy, the defense on Monday afternoon called another inmate who shared the cell with Guandique several years ago at a federal prison in Kentucky.

Jose Manuel Alaniz, 28, who is now in a federal prison hospital in Missouri, said he shared a cell with Guandique and the other inmate, Armando Morales, for a few months and that because they were in a special unit, they spent virtually every moment together.

In that time, Alaniz testified, he never heard Guandique talk of killing or rape or death, as Morales said Guandique did. Nor did he ever hear Guandique mention Chandra Levy as Morales said, Alaniz testified.

In his testimony earlier this month, Morales said Gundique told him that he had killed Levy but hadn't raped her, as had been rumored among other federal inmates

Testifying by closed-circuit video because he could not be promptly transported to the District, Alaniz appeared on what is likely the final day of testimony in the trial, which began last month.

On cross-exaamination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines immediately attacked Alaniz;'s credibility, noting that he does not speak fluent Spanish, the language in which Guandique spoke almost exclusively. Alaniz said that even then he understood the Spanish words for death and kill and rape and that he never heard Guandique utter them.

Alaniz who testified that he is a member of same gang as Guandique, is imprisoned for drug and firearms offenses and is due to be released next year, he said.

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

By Henri Cauvin  | November 15, 2010; 4:08 PM ET
Categories:  Chandra Levy, From the Courthouse, Homicide  
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Next: Reston murder trial begins


Which convicted felon's testimony are you as a juror, going to believe? I've been through it before when 4 felons are given sweet all charges dropped deals to testify against a fifth. I swore to myself the next time the prosecution suborns purjury like that I'm going to vote not guilty no matter what. If the dubious Morales testimony, the crux of the prosecution's case, is now refuted in part by another upstanding citizen, is all they have, they ain't got squat.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | November 15, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, the felon who testified for the defense gets nothing; only the prosecution witnesses get reduced time.

Posted by: darrren12000 | November 15, 2010 11:45 PM | Report abuse

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