Chandra Levy killer to appear at post-conviction hearing - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Chandra Levy killer, Ingmar Guandique, to appear at post-conviction hearing

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Chandra Levy Chandra Levy
Ingmar Guandique Ingmar Guandique

The latest twist in the Chandra Levy murder case will likely be revealed this week when the man convicted in her murder makes an appearance in D.C. Superior Court.

In the last two months, the presiding judge in the case has had two meetings with the prosecution and the defense over what only has been described as an "issue" with a trial witness.

The judge has ordered those discussions be sealed.

Judge Gerald Fisher has ordered U.S. Marshals to bring Ingmar Guandique to the District from Alabama in time for a hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

It is a hearing shrouded in mystery after Judge Fisher sealed two bench conferences he held in December and January. What we know from the record is Judge Fisher sealed the conversations for safety reasons after prosecutors came forward with new information.

It is not unusual for a D.C. Superior Court judge to hold a post-conviction hearing. Any number of things could persuade a judge to do it.

"A motion for a new trial, newly discovered evidence, perhaps ineffective assistance of counsel, those are generally the categories defendants get post-verdict hearings on," said Defense Attorney Bernie Grimm.

In the case of Guandique, prosecutors alerted the judge and the defense to an issue involving a prosecution witness. It is an issue sensitive enough that Judge Fisher ordered the record sealed.

"If both parties consent," said Grimm. "It's easy, but I have objected to it before and lost, so you can have one party objecting to it and one party getting what they want."

Guandique was convicted in November of 2010 for killing Levy on a wooded slope in Rock Creek Park.

One of the prosecution's key witnesses was Armando Morales, a convicted felon and former gang member who said Guandique had confessed to him in prison.

It is unclear if Morales is the witness in question.

The Chandra Levy case made international news in 2001 when it was revealed she was dating a married congressman from California. That congressman, Gary Condit, also testified at the trial.

He has denied having anything to do with Levy's disappearance and death and has never been charged.

Judge Fisher will hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon on a motion by the media to have the private conversations he had with the attorneys unsealed.

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