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Evidence questioned in Levy death trial

The trial of the man accused of killing Chandra Levy wrapped up its fourth day of testimony this afternoon with more grim glimpses into the evidence recovered in Rock Creek Park more than a year after Levy's 2001 disappearance.

Ingmar Guandique, who was a subject of the early investigation into Levy's death, was charged last year with killing the 24-year-old federal intern. Levy's body was found in May 2002, a little more than a year after she vanished.

D.C. police evidence technician John Allie, testifying today in D.C. Superior Court, displayed several items recovered in the weeks after Levy's skull was found on May 22, 2002, near the Western Ridge Trail in Rock Creek Park.

Among the items Allie displayed in court late this afternoon were a pair of black running tights, which he said had been found knotted up; a pair of black panties; and a red sports bra.

Levy's mother, Susan, who has observed virtually all of the trial, was not in the courtroom as Allie explained to the jury how and where each item was recovered.

Over the course of 27 days of searching the site, police recovered about 203 bones, or about 70 percent of Levy's remains, Allie said.

One of Guandique's lawyers, Santha Sonenberg of the D.C. Public Defender Service, has just begun to cross-examine Allie when the judge in the case, Gerald I. Fisher, ended the day's proceedings.

Sonenberg's initial questions -- about whether evidence technicians wear gloves, hair nets or masks -- suggested that she will probe the integrity of the remains and the conclusions investigators have drawn from them.

In one exchange with Allie, Sonenberg asked about the black tights, which have been found to contain unknown male DNA. It is unclear when the DNA might have become affixed to the tights.

"Did you cough on them?" Sonenberg asked Allie.

"No," he replied.

"Did you shake your hair over them?" she asked.

"No," he said.

"Did you lick them?"

"No," he told Sonenberg.

The trial is scheduled to resume on Monday.

-- Henri E. Cauvin

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

By Washington Post Editors  | October 28, 2010; 5:31 PM ET
Categories:  Chandra Levy, From the Courthouse, Homicide, The District, Updates  
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