Guilty Verdict in Chandra Levy Trial

Nine years after Chandra Levy’s disappearance, a Washington D.C. jury has found Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant originally from El Salvador, guilty of first-degree murder. The jury—made up of nine women and three men—deliberated for three and a half days before reaching the verdict. The case presented a challenge for prosecutors, since there was no forensic evidence linking Guandique to the scene—no murder weapon, no eyewitnesses, no motive—as well as early mistakes by the police and investigators that delayed the investigation. After Levy, an intern for former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit, disappeared on May 1, 2001, the initial investigation focused on her alleged affair with the congressman. Despite searching Rock Creek Park, police did not uncover any evidence until nearly a year later when a man walking his dog discovered her skull—long after any forensic evidence had eroded. Guandique had been accused of attacking two other joggers in Rock Creek Park, and a former cellmate of his said Guandique confessed to Levy’s murder.