Defense resurrects 911 tape in Chandra Levy case

WASHINGTON – Twelve years after federal intern Chandra Levy disappeared, defense attorneys for the man convicted of her murder want to introduce a 911 tape as evidence in a new trial.

Attorneys representing her convicted killer Ingmar Guandique are asking police to turn over the tape of a 911 call made from Levy’s apartment the day she disappeared.

Attorneys said the call contains a “curdling” scream and that the tape, and the police response to the call, were never disclosed during Guandique’s 2010 trial for charges that he murdered Levy.

Although the defense argues the 911 call may be significant, D.C. police said in 2001 that the call was not related to their investigation into Levy’s disappearance, according to an archived L.A. Times story.

Attorneys discussed the tape during a hearing in D.C. Superior Court Thursday. Guandique is expected to seek a new trial but his attorneys have not formally requested one.

Much of the discussions between the defense team, prosecutors and the judge have remained sealed. And the attorneys spent about 90 minutes arguing at the bench, with white noise playing to keep the public and the press from overhearing, over safety concerns involving a key witness against Guandique, Armando Morales.

The judge said those safety concerns had nothing to do with anything Guandique has said or done.

The judge closed recent hearings, though documents related to some of them were unsealed in February. The records show that government prosecutors asked to seal a Dec. 18 hearing to talk about information they learned about after Guandique was sentenced.

The documents also show defense attorneys believe the information calls into question the testimony of a witness and that they plan to ask for a new trial.

Levy disappeared in 2001 but her remains weren’t recovered until 2002 in Rock Creek Park.

Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, was convicted of her murder and is serving a 60-year prison sentence. He said when he was sentenced that he had nothing to do with her killing.

WTOP’s Hank Silverberg and the Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @hsilverbergwtop and @WTOP on Twitter.

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