Chandra Levy, the Washington D.C. intern who was murdered in 2001
, is back in the news after a judge questioned the credibility of a key prosecution witness, following the revelation of new, undisclosed evidence.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher made the public announcement on Thursday after sitting through a hearing in the case that was closed off to the media, The Associated Press reported.
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The nature of the new evidence revealed in the meeting remains unknown.
At the end of the secret meeting between Fisher and both prosecution and defense attorneys
, Fisher repeated publicly what he has said before, that the proceedings have been confidential because of security concerns.
He added that the need for secrecy remains but that the security concerns do not have to do with the defendant, Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique. News organizations including The Associated Press have objected to the secrecy.
The judge said government lawyers provided him information in November that could be used to discredit the testimony of Guandique’s one-time cellmate, Armando Morales. Morales testified during Guandique’s 2010 trial that Guandique had confided he was responsible for Levy’s death. Fischer did not say what information prosecutors provided but said it was disclosed to Guandique’s attorneys in December.
The disappearance of the 24-year-old Levy became international news after she was romantically linked with then-California Rep. Gary Condit. He was once the main suspect in her disappearance, but police no longer believe he was involved.
Levy’s body was found in Washington’s Rock Creek Park in 2002, and Guandique, who had previously been convicted of attacking women in the park, was convicted of her murder. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Also on Thursday, an attorney for Guandique asked prosecutors for a copy of a 911 call made by someone in Levy’s apartment building the morning of her disappearance, a call reporting a “blood-curdling” scream.
News accounts from the time of Levy’s disappearance show police discounting the significance of the call because Levy apparently used her computer for several hours later the same morning and because there were no signs of foul play at the scene. The attorney, Jonathan Anderson, did not explain his request.
So far, Fisher has released approximately 200 pages of redacted documents related to two hearings held out of public earshot in December and January. They show that defense attorneys plan to ask for a new trial as a result of the information brought to the judge.
The next hearing is set for May 21.
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