Will the man convicted of killing Chandra Levy four years ago get a new trial? In November of 2010, a jury found Ingmar Guandique guilty of killing the 24-year-old intern for the Bureau of Prisons. Levy’s case received intense media coverage when it came to light that she was the mistress of Gary Condit who was a California congressman at the time. The conviction hinged on information provided by imprisoned Fresno gang member Armando Morales. Morales shared a cell with Guandique and claims he revealed a murder-for-hire plot in which he was paid $25, 000 to kill Levy. Though Levy had been missing for approximately a year before her remains were found in a remote wilderness and investigators took nearly seven more years to charge Guandique, the Salvadoran immigrant was found guilty though he never admitted to killer her. He was sentenced to sixty years in prison.
The case has always been fraught with challenges for prosecutors. Polygraph irregularities, language issues for the Salvadoran immigrant and lack of evidence have always been problematic. Now the Fresno informant’s credibility has been questioned. He has recently been identified as a “problem witness.” At the time that Morales testified, he claimed he had never worked as an informant. This bolstered his credibility in the eyes of the jury. His claim was not true as he had worked as an informant several times prior.
While Guandique has a troubling criminal record including several convictions related to sex crimes, this does not indicate he killed Chandra Levy. The key testimony in the case came from a “problem witness” and there may be other significant issues that come to light during the upcoming hearing. While there is no guarantee that a new trial will be granted, there is a high likelihood that the drama related to the Chandra Levy case will recapture national attention very soon.