Chandra Levy's Killer Gets 60-Year Prison Term

February 11, 2011

The Associated Press

The man convicted of killing Capitol Hill intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison.

In November, a jury convicted Ingmar Guandique of first-degree murder in Levy's 2001 disappearance and death, despite a lack of witnesses and no DNA evidence linking him to the crime.

Levy's disappearance became a national sensation after she was romantically linked to then-Rep. Gary Condit. Police initially focused on Condit as a suspect, and his political career unraveled.

But after Levy's remains were found in a park, police shifted their focus to Guandique, a Salvadoran man who was already serving a prison sentence for attacking female joggers in the park where Levy disappeared.

On Friday, the Superior Court judge also rejected Guandique's request for a new trial. His lawyers had argued that Guandique should be granted a new trial because jurors improperly shared notes in reaching a verdict. They also argued that prosecutors improperly appealed to the jury's emotions and facts that weren't part of trial evidence in making a graphic closing argument.

In response, prosecutors said that if jurors shared notes, that was at most a technical violation that did not substantially affect the trial's outcome.

Prosecutors had asked for a life prison sentence, arguing that Guandique showed no remorse and had a history of violence toward women. They said Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, fled his village in that country as a teenager because he was suspected of attacking a woman at knifepoint. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.