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Day in Court for Levy's Accused Killer

POSTED: 02:44 PM ET, 04/23/2009 by The Editors

Almost exactly eight years after Chandra Levy was slain in D.C.'s Rock Creek Park, a District judge today ruled that there was probable cause for the arrest of a 27-year-old man for first-degree murder.

Magistrate Judge J. Dennis Doyle in D.C. Superior Court set a preliminary hearing for next month for the accused, Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran who has already been serving time for attacking two other women in the park the year that Levy disappeared.

Guandique was largely overlooked as a serious suspect in 2001. Detectives were focusing their efforts on Gary Condit, a California congressman who had been having a secret affair with Levy. Condit soon lost his bid for re-election as a result.

Guandique, a day laborer who entered the United States illegally in 2000, came under the scrutiny of police months after Levy vanished in May 2001, but delays and missteps allowed the case to languish. In a series published last year, a Washington Post investigation revealed that the police work was riddled with mistakes and missed opportunities almost from Day One.

Since the end of last summer, the new team of detectives reviewed evidence, interviewed numerous witnesses and built a case against Guandique.

Based on a police affidavit, authorities are hinging their case on a compilation of statements from victims of Guandique and from unidentified witnesses who said he admitted to the crime in letters and conversations that explained, often in grisly detail, how he attacked, sexually assaulted and killed Levy in the park. He said he acted with the help of two accomplices not named in the affidavit. The affidavit did not disclose any physical evidence linking Guandique to the crime.

Defense attorneys argue that the case against Guandique is based largely on "jailhouse snitches."

By The Editors |  April 23, 2009; 2:44 PM ET Chandra Levy , D.C. Region , Post Investigations
Previous: Rice Greenlighted CIA Methods in '02; Freddie Disclosures Examined; Lewis: U.S. Urged Silence on Merrill Deal | Next: Obama Rebuffs Truth Panel; Beyond Abu Ghraib; Gonzales Reportedly Intervened in Wiretap

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