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Attorneys in Chandra Levy case ask to move trial out of D.C.

Washington Post editors

Attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, the man charged with the kidnapping and slaying of former federal intern Chandra Levy, have asked a D. C. Superior Court judge to move the trial out of the District because potential jurors already know too much about the case.

In their most recent filing, attorneys Maria Hawilo and Santha Sonenberg argued that their client would not be able to receive a fair trial due to the "pervasive and irremediable" amounts of media coverage of the case.

The attorneys asked Judge Gerald Fisher to set a date to hear their argument.

Defense attorneys involved in high profile cases often request a change of venue because of media attention. But judges rarely grant them. Notable exceptions include the trials of D.C. snipers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo. Muhammad’s trial was moved to Virginia Beach and Malvo’s to Chesapeake, Va.

Guandique, 28, was arrested in April and charged with six counts in connection with Levy’s 2001 disappearance and slaying. His trial is scheduled for October. Levy’s disappearance generated international attention because she had been having an affair with then-Rep. Gary A. Condit (D-Calif.), who represented the district that includes her home town of Modesto.

-- Keith L. Alexander

By Washington Post editors  |  February 17, 2010; 11:16 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities , From the Courthouse , Homicide , Keith L. Alexander , The District  
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This was years ago. Memories fail. I think it's a safe bet a fair trial will be had. Afterall, now the jury won't have the chance to take down a congressman.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 17, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Unless they plan to get a change of venue to El Salvador for their client, what are these defense attorneys thinking? Pre trial publicity? They would have to move the trial to the moon. Perhaps Modesto, California? They have a better shot of getting this guy off in Washington than anywhere.

Posted by: menopausequeen | February 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

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