WASHINGTON (AP) – A jury has found Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique guilty of murdering Congressional intern Chandra Levy back in 2001, when her disappearance became a national sensation.
Guandique was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for attacking Levy, who was from Modesto, while she exercised in Washington’s Rock Creek Park in May 2001.
WTOP’s Mark Seagraves Reports:
Her disappearance made headlines when she was romantically linked with then-Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif, who represented the 18th congressional district which includes the northern San Joaquin Valley. Condit was once a suspect but police no longer believe he was involved.
Investigators eventually focused on Guandique and brought formal charges last year.
Prosecutors acknowledged they had little direct evidence but said Levy’s death fit a pattern of other crimes committed by Guandique in Washington’s Rock Creek Park.
Prosecutors obtained a conviction without eyewitnesses or DNA evidence linking Guandique to Levy. And Guandique never confessed to police. Prosecutors hung their case on the testimony of Guandique’s former cellmate who said Guandique confided in him that he killed Levy.
The defense argued that Guandique became a scapegoat for a botched investigation.
The 29-year-old Guandique could be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in prison. Sentencing is set for Feb. 11. He’s already in prison for attacking two female joggers.
Meanwhile, Chandra Levy’s mother said she’ll never be free of the pain of losing her daughter.
Susan Levy spoke outside the courthouse after the jury found Guandique guilty.
Condit’s lawyer Bert Fields said the verdict represents a vindication that comes too late to repair the damage to his client’s career.
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