The Chandra Levy murder case is back in the spotlight now that a judge has ordered the release of sealed court transcripts and documents related to the disappearance of the Washington D.C. intern that blew up headlines and tainted a U.S. congressman's political reputation in 2001. Levy's body was found in a D.C. park in 2002.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia was ordered to release the Chandra Levy court transcripts by D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher. The documents reveal secret conversations held earlier this year between the lawyers and the judge at the judge's bench.
Chandra Levy's case has been revived because defense attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted of her murder have challenged the testimony of a key witness for the prosecution. Guandique, 31, was sentenced in 2011 to two concurrent 60-year sentences for murder with kidnapping and murder with attempted robbery. He was arrested in February 2009 while he was already in prison for attacks on two other women in the park where Levy's body was found.
Chandra Levy's alleged killer was damned mostly by the testimony of Armando Morales, a convicted felon and former gang member who claimed on the stand that Guandique had confessed to him that he killed Levy. Guandique, however, was adamant throughout the trial that he had nothing to do with Levy's death.
Defense attorney Jonathan Anderson is now calling Morales' credibility into question, and said the witness had given contradictory testimony about Guandique. According to Anderson, Morales had fed information to law enforcement about three prior unrelated murders.
A status hearing on the Chandra Levy murder case has been scheduled for September 26.
Chandra Levy, a 24-year-old California native, was working as an intern for the Bureau of Prisons in Washington D.C. when she was last seen on May 1, 2001. Her skull turned up a year later in D.C.'s Rock Creek Park, and was confirmed to be hers through dental records.
Levy's disappearance became a national sensation when her parents uncovered a connection with Gary Condit, then a congressman for Levy's California district. Condit was questioned extensively for details during the search for Levy, though he was never a suspect in the case. After Condit denied he and Levy were having an affair, an FBI expert confirmed that the congressman's semen was found in Levy's underwear, retrieved from her apartment after she went missing.
The newly unsealed Chandra Levy murder case documents include information from hearings late last year and earlier this year. The transcripts contain discussions between Fisher and lawyers at the judge's bench, which were kept hidden from courtroom observers.
Gary Condit served in Congress until 2003. He is currently on the board of directors of the Phoenix Institute for Desert Agriculture, a nonprofit group promoting sustainable farming.