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Guandique sentenced to 60 years for Levy murder

A D.C. Superior Court jury on Monday found Ingmar Guandique guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of former federal intern Chandra Levy. After the verdict came in, Levy's mother and members of the jury spoke to the media.
Map shows attacks in Rock Creek Park
The Washington Post

But Fisher denied the motion Friday.

Before the sentencing, Guandique's attorneys argued that their client had an abusive childhood, grew up without running water or electricity, and suffered physical and emotional scars from his upbringing. A psychologist who examined Guandique wrote that he had the mental capacity of a 10-year-old.

Fisher was unmoved. The judge called Levy's slaying a "truly horrible crime" and called Guandique a "dangerous person."

"Dangerous to women, in particular," Fisher said. "And will be a danger for some time. He's a sexual predator. Nobody else should be at the mercy of Mr. Guandique like Ms. Levy."

Fisher acknowledged that the prosecution's case "wasn't a very strong" one - and was based on circumstantial evidence. Fisher said the strongest evidence linking Guandique to Levy's death included Guandique's previous attacks on two female joggers, testimony from witnesses who placed Guandique in the park at the time Levy disappeared and the testimony of Guandique's cellmate, Armando Morales, who said Guandique admitted to him that he killed Levy in the park.

Under sentencing guidelines, Guandique faced a minimum of 30 years in prison, which Guandique's attorneys argued was more than enough.

But prosecutors asked Fisher to sentence Guandique to life in prison without parole.

Fisher said he considered Guandique's previous convictions for burglary and assault and about 30 infractions prosecutors claimed Guandique had committed while serving a 10-year prison sentence for attacking two women in Rock Creek Park about the time Levy disappeared. In a Jan. 22, handwritten letter to a reporter at The Washington Post, Guandique said the evidence presented by the government, including Morales's testimony, was "false."

"Everything about this case was a stupid, comedic farce that the detectives and prosecutors have engaged in," Guandique wrote. "I know there are people who believe in my innocence and to those people who believe in my innocence I say you are not mistaken, because I am innocent." Guandique said he was a scapegoat.

U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. said he was "pleased" with the sentence. According to District law, Guandique will have to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence - about 50 years - before being eligible for release.

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