The Washington Post

Defense attorneys in Chandra Levy murder case request recording of 911 call

Lawyers for Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted of killing former federal intern Chandra Levy, on Thursday asked a D.C. Superior Court judge to order prosecutors to release a 911 call made by one of Levy’s neighbors in her Northwest apartment building who allegedly told the operator of hearing a “bloodcurdling scream.”

At the hearing before D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald I. Fisher, Guandique’s lawyers said a recording of the 911 call, as well as the D.C. police radio run, were not given to them at the time of their client’s 2010 trial. During that trial, prosecutors had argued Guandique killed Levy on May 1, 2001, while she was on a jog in Rock Creek Park.

In recent hearings, Guandique’s lawyers, with the District’s Public Defender Service, have said their client deserves a new trial, but have not filed a formal request. In addition to the 911 call, the attorneys have argued that new information they received from the prosecutors in December about the government’s main witness, Armando Morales, also merits a new trial. Morales was a former cellmate of Guandique’s who testified that Guandique confessed to him that he killed Levy.

It is unclear what new information about Morales was provided to defense attorneys. Fisher restricted the public release of those details after prosecutors said they had safety concerns for Morales should that information become public.

Guandique, 30, a Salvadoran who is in the United States illegally, was convicted of first-degree murder charges after the eight-week, high-profile trial. He later was sentenced to 60 years in prison. The case drew national attention because the intern was having an affair with Gary A. Condit, the married congressman from her home town in California.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.

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