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Illegal Immigrant Who Killed Chandra Levy May Be Released

Attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador who murdered Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001, will likely ask for Guandique to be released from jail while he awaits a retrial of his 2010 conviction. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Gunadique’s attorneys requested a new trial, asserting that evidence from a key witness against Guandique was false or misleading and claiming that a new trial would serve the “interests of justice.” In May, prosecutors agreed to a new trial despite the fact that they thought that Guandique’s conviction was justified. In June, a judge ruled that a new trial could be held; it is scheduled for 2016.

The Levy case created a national sensation. Congressman Gary A. Condit, who was having an affair with Levy, 24, was initially suspected of her murder, but he was cleared. It took a year after the murder for Levy’s remains to be discovered.

Because of the lack of forensic evidence linking Guandique to the murder, he was not convicted until a former cellmate revealed Guandique’s confession in 2006. Guandique confessed he was high on drugs in Rock Creek Park when he saw Levy wearing a waist pouch, so he robbed her. Guandique told the cellmate, “You don’t understand. . . . Homeboy, I killed the [expletive], but I didn’t rape her.”

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