Another Witness Reports Attack on Trail, Levy Prosecutors Say
Friday, July 31, 2009
Prosecutors say they have identified a new witness who claims to have been attacked on a jogging trail and stabbed by a man matching the description of Ingmar Guandique, the suspect in the Chandra Levy slaying.
In an evidentiary notice filing with D.C. Superior Court late Thursday, prosecutors involved in the Levy case alerted Guandique's attorneys that they plan to call the witness to testify. Guandique has a hearing scheduled Friday.
According to the documents, the newest witness identified Guandique as the man who ran up from behind the witness on a jogging trail, pushed the person to the ground, then stabbed the witness in the back. The witness, fearing a robbery, told the attacker that he or she did not have any money. The document had no identifying information on the witness or the location of the attack.
The documents were filed by Channing Phillips, acting U.S. attorney for the District, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines, one of the lead prosecutors in the case.
Prosecutors also provided an updated list of evidence that they say links Guandique to Levy's killing, including alleged confessions to other individuals that he and two other members of the MS-13 gang killed Levy in Rock Creek Park. Guandique said he later killed the two gang members.
Guandique also allegedly told individuals that he shot a bystander who attempted to intervene during the Levy attack.
Guandique, 27, was arrested in April and charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of the former federal intern, who disappeared in May 2001. Her body was found a year later. At the time of his arrest, Guandique was serving a 10-year sentence in a federal prison for attacking two other women at knifepoint in Rock Creek Park about the time that Levy, 24, disappeared.
Levy's disappearance generated international attention because she had been having an affair with then-Rep. Gary A. Condit (D-Calif.), who represented the district that includes her home town of Modesto. Condit said he did not harm Levy. Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, came under scrutiny months after Levy vanished, but it was not until a new set of detectives was assigned to the case that it came together.
In the filing, prosecutors said they plan to identify witnesses who allegedly spoke with Guandique about using drugs and alcohol before his attacks. Guandique also allegedly sodomized one of his cellmates.
Guandique's defense attorneys argued that much of the witness testimony came from other prison inmates who were looking to strike deals with the prosecution.
Also in the filing was a letter to Guandique's attorneys reminding them of the plea agreement that they offered, which expired July 24.
The prosecutors said they plan to submit various pieces of evidence, including photographs of Levy and press clippings about her that were found in Guandique's cell, and prison letters to and from Guandique.
Prosecutors also said that the FBI had tested DNA found on Levy's tights but that there was no DNA match to Guandique.
In addition to the witness who was stabbed by a man fitting Guandique's description, prosecutors said they identified six other witnesses who were either attacked by Guandique or who had conversations with him in which he allegedly bragged about his prior attacks.
At his most recent hearing in May, Judge Geoffrey M. Alprin set a trial date of Jan. 27 against the objections of Guandique's attorneys, who argued that the date was too soon.