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More testimony in Chandra Levy case

A Northwest Washington woman took the stand this afternoon in the trial of Ingmar Guandique to testify about an encounter she says she had with a man resembling Guandique in the spring of 2001 in Rock Creek Park, around the time that Chandra Levy disappeared.

Amber Fitzgerald, 38, who has lived in Northwest Washington since 1998, was living in Adams Morgan in 2001 and was a regular visitor to Rock Creek Park, where she would walk and jog.

Fitzgerald was the second woman to testify Monday about being attacked in Rock Creek Park.

Looking shaken and often dabbing her eyes with a white tissue, Fitzgerald testified about setting out one afternoon for the park in the spring of 2001. About a half hour later, she was startled when a man emerged out of the woods.

Something wasn't right, she said, and as the man, who was about 20 feet ahead of her, took one trail, she opted to take another.

"I decided I wanted to avoid him," she said.

Moments later, she sensed someone behind her, she said, and when she turned, the man was just 10 feet behind her. "To me it looked like he was trying to sneak up on me."

The man stopped and Fitzgerald decided she was in trouble and had to get out of there. "This is not right," she said she thought to herself.

So she ran. "I was trying not to fall, but I was trying to run as fast as I could."

But she didn't report it to police, thinking the encounter wouldn't merit any follow up.

A year later, in 2002, she was in Prague, studying, when someone showed her newspaper with a photo of a man who was a suspect in the Levy case. "I was in shock because it looked like the same person who had followed me in the park."

But she wasn't sure it was him and she was, she would later testify, reluctant to get involved.

Then the following year, in 2003, she saw a television program about the case, and she realized she had to say something.

"At that point," she said, dabbing her eyes with a tissue, "I decided I had to go to the police. It was weighing on my conscience.

Even today, the woman cannot say on what date the encounter occurred. Using her calendar, she's been able to narrow it to several possible dates in April and May 2001.

On cross examination, one of Guandique's attorneys, Maria Hawilo, sought to raise doubts about the woman's recollection of events.

Hawilo noted that even the possible dates offered by the woman had only emerged in recent years as the police worked with her to piece together a time line.

And Hawilo drew Fitzgerald out on the point that that she was by her own account not 100 percent sure the man she saw in the newspaper was the same man she had encountered in the park.

-- Henri Cauvin

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

By Washington Post editors  | October 25, 2010; 4:35 PM ET
Categories:  Chandra Levy, From the Courthouse, Homicide  
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Any concerned citizen will see to it that his gangbanger is put away, forever.

Posted by: password11 | October 25, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Any concerned citizen will see to it that this gangbanger GETS A FAIR TRIAL...I'm just as anxious as anyone to see the killer brought to justice, but honestly don't think the accused is the one...

The police want to close this case badly...Just because this guy DID attack at least 2 women in RC Park, do you honestly think he is the only one to do so there?????

2years later Fitzgerald decides to call police after seeing the case on tv...2 years!!!!!! Why didn't she tell police after it happened???? You would think the impact would have been greater then rather than 2 YEARS LATER FROM A TV SHOW...

NO forensic evidence, witnesses...nothing....Too bad this guy couldn't afford top flite lawyers...this is a no brainer...

Posted by: pentagon40 | October 25, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Dear WaPo, why don't you let it go? What is your point in dragging this sorry story around and around? There is so much crime and injustice in the midst and this case does not merit, by any strecch, any special treatment. What is this?

Posted by: likovid | October 25, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The Post profiled the defense attorneys recently -- they are in fact top flight defense people.

I agree that the woman's account is a little sketchy, and I'd like to hear a fuller explanation as to why she didn't come forward immediately.

The thing is though that this happened almost a decade ago. If her story was ironclad, I'd be more suspicious. Details can be expected to be lost over time.

Posted by: Georgetwoner | October 25, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many hours were spent scanning just the right person to put the blame on to cover Condit.

Posted by: venusita | October 25, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

What a travesty of Justice.
The Condits ALWAYS use government data bases & the like, their Police & Political protection assets, before they commit another "Political Sexual Embarrassment Disposal Service" that they've done for 33 years, and I was sworn to secrecy about when in enlisted US Army M.I.
That's how they got into Congress, and the subsequent blackmail by Communists is the reason it and Pelosi's policies are now so corrupt, leading to foreign takeover.
Grandique was on Police State data bases as attacking women in that park, the perfect patsy to set up for same.
So who used Chandra's computer to find directions there while Condit was in Dick Cheney's office? Mrs. Condit, of course. Levy was probably done as so many others, in a "Home" setting, where Mrs. Condit, a veterinarian, prepared her some horse tranquilizing tea. For the cut-up job.
Just like Joannebennet Ramsey, Laci Peterson, and so many others. & page down to menulinks; "The Condit (MO) Transcript."

Posted by: rickahyatt | October 25, 2010 11:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand why this woman's testimony was even admitted as evidence. She can't identify Guandique as the person who followed her. I hope the prosecution's case has more than this to go forward at trial, because this is some pretty shaky testimony.

Posted by: mercredi | October 26, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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