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Posted at 3:40 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Guandique's attorneys seek new trial

By Keith L. Alexander
Keith L. Alexander

Attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted in November of killing former federal intern Chandra Levy, submitted a request to a D.C. Superior Court judge for a new trial claiming "juror misconduct" and a prosecutor's "improper closing arguments."

Attorneys Maria Hawilo and Santha Sonenberg, of the District's Public Defender Service, filed the motion on behalf of Guandique. Such motions are fairly standard after a guilty verdict in a high-profile trial. Guandique is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 11.

In their petition, the attorneys argued that Judge Gerald I. Fisher, who oversaw the trial, instructed the jurors to take their own notes or use their memory of the evidence that was presented. Following the trial, one juror told The Washington Post that a fellow juror failed to take notes and other jurors shared their notes with that juror during deliberations. 

The attorneys also claimed Assistant U.S. attorneys Amanda Haines and Fernando Campoamor-Sanchez used an "improper" closing, when they cited Guandique's "propensity" to attack women and thereby "elicited sympathy" for Levy, 24, and also "inflamed the passions" of the jurors. Guandique,29, had been convicted of attacking two other women in Rock Creek Park in the summer of 2001, around the same time Levy disappeared. Fisher allowed evidence of those crimes to be admitted in Levy's murder trial.

Fisher has not yet ruled on Guandique's attorneys request for a new trial.


 

By Keith L. Alexander  | February 2, 2011; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  Chandra Levy, From the Courthouse, Homicide, Keith L. Alexander, The District  
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Comments

Even though Mr. Guandique was a convicted attacker of women I just don't believe that he killed Sandra Levy, it wasn't his make out to kill women. And how do you let a inmate who was "raped" by Mr. Guandique testify against him in court? I mean what really was this inmate going to say once he got up on the stand, that Mr Guandique was a nice guy who was confused when he "raped" me?

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 2, 2011 4:45 PM | Report abuse

When I was on jury duty we were not allowed to take notes but rely on our memory. As far as jurors referring to other jurors notes what different does it make? During deliberations jurors tell what they heard and believe. Juror notes would fall into the same category.

Posted by: Jimof1913 | February 2, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I keep seeking the winning Powerball ticket and I don't get that. Why should the taxpayers have to keep paying for trials for him?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | February 2, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I still can't figure why Guandique would have targeted women who are bigger than he is when little Chandra allegedly clawed him up so badly.

And the whole reason Guandique allegedly confessed was because sexual assault is taboo in MS-13. There are numerous cases of sexual assaults blamed on gang members. Couldn't the defense find one person to refute the prosecution's jailhouse witness on that point?

Guandique gets a comfy American prison cell and the police get the Chandra thing off their backs.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 2, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

So let Guandique out on bail and he can live with his lawyers until this thing gets resolved.

Surely his lawyers are ok with that?

Posted by: bushido11 | February 2, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Illegal aliens criminals continue to terrorize our communities (like the 2008 homicide of Ms. Havenstein in Bethesda by an illegal), yet DC, Alexandria, Montgomery and Arlington County continue to reject the "Secure Communities" and 287(g) Homeland Security programs to screen and deport detained illegals.

These pathetic politicians cater to the Hispanics caucus and the U Street open borders crowd.

It's just sicking!

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | February 3, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Illegal aliens criminals continue to terrorize our communities (like the 2008 homicide of Ms. Havenstein in Bethesda by an illegal), yet DC, Alexandria, Montgomery and Arlington County continue to reject the "Secure Communities" and 287(g) Homeland Security programs to screen and deport detained illegals.

These pathetic politicians cater to the Hispanics caucus and the U Street open borders crowd.

It's just sicking!

Posted by: johnnyapplewhite123 | February 3, 2011 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Guandique's scum no matter what- time for the death penalty..

Posted by: 10bestfan | February 3, 2011 9:54 AM | Report abuse

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