Jewish intern’s alleged killer to be released following retrial

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — Prosecutors dropped their case against a man granted a retrial after being convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy in 2001.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Washington asked a judge to dismiss charges against Ingmar Guandique, a Salvadoran immigrant who was found guilty in 2010 of first-degree murder of Chandra Levy, whose death contributed to a congressman’s downfall, the Daily Forward reported Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement Thursday that it “has concluded that it can no longer prove the murder case against Ingmar Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt.”

An illegal immigrant from El Salvador, Guandique was sentenced to 60 years in prison for the murder of Levy, a 24-year-old intern whose remains were found in a Washington park in 2002 nearly a year after she disappeared the previous summer. A jury convicted Guandique of two counts of first-degree felony murder — one related to Levy’s kidnapping and one related to a robbery attempt.

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Guandique’s bid for a retrial was granted last year after his lawyers argued that a key witness had lied, according to the Forward’s report.

The motion to drop all charges against him made to District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Robert Morin was based on information that prosecutors received within the last week, the statement said. The information was not disclosed.

A wide-ranging search turned up few details on her whereabouts but brought out allegations that she had an affair with Gary Condit, then a member of the House of Representatives.

The married Condit, a Democrat representing California, acknowledged having a “close relationship” with Levy but said he had nothing to do with her disappearance or death.