Ingmar Guandique is the man who was convicted of killing Chandra Levy 12 years ago. He was found guilty in part due to the testimony of a key witness named Armando Morales.
Now, the case could be blown wide open. Since Guandique was convicted, there have been hearings that were kept secret from the media and the public.
Now, transcripts from those hearings have been released. And the notes show a judge clearly troubled by what he was learning.
It’s been widely known the defense wants a new trial. Now we know why.
After going through hundreds of pages of transcripts, there is a clear indication that Judge Gerald Fisher, the original trial judge, has some sympathy for the defense request.
During a hearing last January, Judge Fisher said he understood the position of the defense and its questions into why the jury was not told Morales was once an informant and had asked for immunity from prosecution.
As the hearings got underway, Judge Fisher told prosecutors and attorneys representing Ingmar Guandique that Armando Morales was never asked during the trial if he had ever cooperated or offered to cooperate with law enforcement but "A fact finder could have concluded that (the government) was advancing that this was the first time (that Morales) had provided information about others."
The transcripts show government prosecutors learned in 2012, after the trial, that Armando Morales had provided information to the Fresno, Calif. sheriff's office about three murders as well as drug and weapons dealing inside the Atlanta federal prison where he was housed.
However, none of that was disclosed at trial and defense attorneys want to know why.
They note, the lead prosecutor, Amanda Haines, met with Morales before the trial and discussed an interview he had with a "gang unit" but as prosecutors point out "nothing came of it." Meaning, there were no prosecutions in which Morales testified and in return he received no favors.
But as the defense points out Morales "had requested immunity" and wonder why his information failed to lead to prosecutions. They want to dig deeper.
The transcripts also show U.S. Marshals were deeply concerned about courtroom security during the recent secret hearings.
When asked by the defense if Guandique's handcuffs could be loosened judge fisher said "(U.S. marshals) have numerous instances of violence by your client while in prison since his sentencing that they're very concerned about."
Ingmar Guandique was convicted in 2010 of killing Chandra Levy in Rock Creek Park in 2001.
During the trial, Armando Morales told the court Guandique had confessed to him when the two were cellmates in 2006.
Judge Fisher has ordered the U.S. Attorneys Office to dig deeper into their files and all sides will be back in court in September.
On FOX 5 News Monday night, legal analyst Bernie Grimm said he expects to see a new trial.
The transcripts also show the U.S. Attorneys Office was deeply concerned about the safety of Morales and his family and reading between the lines it appears they may now be in witness protection -- inside and outside of prison.
The defense now wants to put the lead prosecutor on the stand in an evidentiary hearing so they can ask her under oath what she knew about Morales’s past before the trial began.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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