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Chandra Levy trial: key moments

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Monday, November 22, 2010; 9:35 PM

The other victims: Halle Shilling and Christy Wiegand hushed the courtroom with their accounts of being attacked by Ingmar Guandique in spring and summer 2001. It set the tone for the trial, and in a case where the victim could not testify, Shilling and Wiegand were almost surrogate victims.

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The cellmate: If Shilling and Wiegand helped to prove that Guandique had attacked other woman, it was up to Armando Morales to help prove that Guandique had attacked - and killed - Levy. Morales testified that when he and Guandique were cellmates at a federal prison in Kentucky, Guandique admitted killing Levy. With his bespectacled countenance and his mature manner, Morales was a steady presence on the stand, not easily rattled by the defense cross-examination, which poked a few holes in his credibility but ultimately not enough to undermine his place at the center of the government's case.

The prosecutor: In her closing argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines painted a chilling portrait of Chandra Levy's final minutes. Even as she urged the jurors not to think about those final minutes, she called what happened in the woods "ghastly." Even as she acknowledged how little is known about those final minutes, she offered imagined glimpses of Levy hogtied with her own tights or bound to a tree in Rock Creek Park. It was vivid, it was visceral, and it was the case.

- Henri Cauvin


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