Chandra Levy Murder Trial Begins

With jury members now selected, opening statements are scheduled to begin in the Chandry Levy murder trial on Monday. The 24-year-old woman was murdered in 2001 after she was attacked while jogging in a park. Her body was found over a year later.

At the time of her disappearance, Levy was the end of her federal internship at the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The focus of the police investigation was originally directed at Gary A. Condit, a former congressman who had been her married lover. Condit was never charged.

The man who is on trial for Levy’s murder is Ingmar Guandique, a member of the Salvadorean gang Mara Salvatrucha. Guandique was sentenced in 2002 for attacking two other women at the same park where he allegedly attacked Levy. Officials claim that while Guandique was serving time for those crimes he told other inmates that he had murdered the intern.

According to The Washington Post, prosecutors are largely basing their murder case on this alleged confession. His former inmates say that Guandique told them told he raped and killed Levy. Authorities say that Guandique had a magazine photo of Levy in his jail cell. Prosecutors may also try to prove that his prior assaults and the Levy killing exhibit a pattern of behavior.

Meantime, Guandique maintains that he is innocent of Levy’s murder. In 2002, Guandique did not fail a polygraph test when he was questioned about whether he had any information about Levy’s disappearance. After the polygraph, the lead prosecutor on Guandique’s assault case told a judge that there was “no suggestion” that Guandique played a role in the Levy killing. Also, Guandique’s defense team have questioned the police investigation, including a memo that cleared Guandique and another man of any match in fingerprints found on a vehicle that was parked close to the crime scene.

There are no eyewitnesses or evidence linking Guandique to the murder.

Police errors expected to figure prominently in Levy trial, The Washington Post, October 24, 2010
Trial may start Monday in Chandra Levy murder case, CNN, October 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Chandra Levy mystery: A timeline, USA Today, May 22, 2002
General Laws,
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