Prosecutors in Levy case want polygraphs excluded

By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 6, 2010; 10:36 PM

Prosecutors in the Chandra Levy homicide trial are seeking to have the results of two polygraph tests excluded from the upcoming trial.

In a D. C. Superior Court filing this week, prosecutors requested to have the results of Ingmar Guandique's polygraph test excluded from his trial, which is scheduled to begin Oct. 18. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of federal intern Chandra Levy.

According to the documents, Guandique, 29, took a polygraph test on Feb. 4, 2002, in which he was asked whether he was involved in the disappearance of Levy and whether he had caused Levy's disappearance.

Guandique responded "no" to both questions. The examiner who administered the test determined that Guandique was "not deceptive" in his responses.

Levy went missing in May 2001. The test was given to Guandique when Levy was still considered missing and before her remains were found in May 2002. Guandique was administered the tests while he was serving time in a California prison after pleading guilty to attacking two women in Rock Creek Park about the time Levy disappeared.

Last year, Guandique was charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of the former federal intern.

Prosecutors also are seeking to exclude as evidence the results of another test given to a fellow inmate of Guandique who is a key witness in the government's case.

According to the filing, the unidentified witness was asked whether Guandique told him that he stabbed Levy and whether Guandique told him that he received $25,000 from a congressman for killing Levy. To each question, the witness responded "yes." But the examiner who administered the test determined that the witness was being deceptive.

In their filing, prosecutors said that the results of the polygraphs were flawed because neither test was administered by a bilingual polygraph examiner and that the same Spanish interpreter was used for both tests.

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 the charges were brought.

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