A Washington, D.C., judge has ordered a new trial to be held in the murder case of Chandra Levy, a 24-year-old intern who was killed in 2001. The Superior Court Judge granted a new trial for 34-year-old suspect Ingmar Guandique, who was accused of murdering the young woman. The decision came after prosecutors canceled their opposition to a retrial request.
Murder Scandal Ruined a Congressman's Career
The 24-year-old intern disappeared 14 years ago on May 1, 2001. Her disappearance triggered a massive search operation, which revealed very little in terms of her whereabouts. However, the investigation did reveal that the young woman had an affair with Congressman Gary Condit, who was married. The California Democrat admitted to having a relationship with the woman, but he said that he did not know about her death or disappearance, or have anything to do with it.
The Congressman was never named as a suspect in the murder trial, but he lost his re-election in 2002, and most people speculate that the scandal was the cause of his political downfall.
A year after the young woman's disappearance, Chandra Levy's body was found in a Washington, D.C., park. Guandique was subsequently charged with murdering the intern, but not until 2009. Guandique was already in prison for attacking women in the part of town where Levy had gone missing.
A Key Witness Lied During the Initial Trial
The first murder trial was carried out in 2010, and it resulted in the conviction of Guandique. He was punished with a 60-year prison sentence. However, defense attorneys have since revealed that an important witness lied during the first trial.
Police have also been criticized for their failure to pinpoint Guandique as a murder suspect earlier in their investigations. They were also criticized for zeroing in on Condit, when he should not have been a suspect.
Being convicted of murder can result in being sentenced to a lifetime in prison, being sentenced to death, or being sentenced to many decades in prison -- as happened in this man's case. However, there is always the chance of appealing a previous court case, or seeking a retrial if an aspect of the original case was not handled appropriately.
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