Case dismissed against man convicted in death of Chandra Levy

WASHINGTON – Prosecutors will no longer seek a retrial of Ingmar Guandique, the man who was charged in the death of intern Chandra Levy, and have asked for the charges against him to be dismissed,  the U.S. Attorney’s Office for D.C. announced Thursday.

“Today, in the interests of justice and based on recent unforeseen developments that were investigated over the past week, the office moved to dismiss the case charging Ingmar Guandique with the May 2001 murder of Chandra Levy,” according to a written statement.

Prosecutors said they can no longer prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Guandique killed Levy and filed a motion to dismiss the case on Thursday. Later in the day, Judge Robert Morin signed an order granting the dismissal of charges.

The retrial was scheduled to begin in October.

Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, would be released to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation, the office said.

A judge granted the retrial of Guandique last year after his lawyers argued that a jailhouse informant lied or gave misleading information to investigators.

Guandique was convicted in 2010 of first-degree murder and other charges and has been serving a 60-year sentence. He has maintained his innocence and there was no physical evidence linking him to Levy.

Prosecutors had argued that Levy’s death fit a pattern of attacks that Guandique committed on  female joggers in Rock Creek Park around the same time of Levy’s disappearance. Guandique was in prison for those two attacks and wasn’t charged in Levy’s death until 2009.

The two other women, who were able to escape Guandique, declined to comment on the case’s dismissal.

Court filings related to the retrial suggested that his defense team would try to prove a third individual, perhaps Gary Condit or someone else, had a motive to kill Levy.

The Levy case gained national attention because the 24-year-old from California was having an affair with then-Congressman Condit, a married man, when she disappeared. Her remains were found a year after her disappearance in Rock Creek Park.

Condit was eventually ruled out as a suspect.

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

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