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Chandra Levy Murder Trial: DNA on Victim Doesn't Match Defendant, Expert Testifies

Chandra Levy (AP Photo, file)
Chandra Levy Murder Trial: No Match to DNA Evidence Found on Victim
Chandra Levy (AP Photo, file)

WASHINGTON (CBS/WUSA/AP) Testimony at the Chandra Levy murder trial Wednesday surrounded a miniscule amount of DNA found on the murdered intern's running tights that failed to match those involved in the case, including the man charged with murdering Levy nearly a decade ago.

PICTURES: Chandra Levy Murdered

Authorities claim the mystery skin cells found on Levy's tights and t-shirt came from an unknown male, according to CBS affiliate WUSA.

Testing by a DNA analyst confirmed that the sample did not match Levy or 29-year-old Ingmar Guadinque, the man standing trial for Levy's murder. The DNA also failed to match Gary Condit, the former California congressman who was romantically linked to Levy and was once a suspect in the investigation. Police no longer believe he was involved with Levy's death.

The defense argues that the mystery DNA is strong evidence that some still unknown man committed the murder. Prosecutors argue that the skin cells are insignificant and likely are the result of contamination during the testing process.

Amy Jeanguenat, a DNA analyst at Bode Technology labs, which conducted the testing, said the DNA was tested against profiles for Guandique, Levy and Condit, but did not match any one of them. It was also tested against a limited library of FBI technicians who handled the evidence before it arrived at the lab, and still no match was found.

Jeanguenat claimed Bode technicians do not believe the DNA came from Levy's attacker because they could not even find her own DNA on any of the clothing. She said exposure to elements, such as snow and rain, degrades DNA over time.

Prosecutors acknowledged that they have no physical evidence or eyewitnesses in Levy's slaying, but say Guandique confessed to the murder to cellmates, and that Levy's death was similar to two other attacks he committed on young women in Rock Creek Park in the spring and summer of 2001.

Guandique, an alleged gang member and illegal immigrant from El Salvador, is charged with the attempted sexual assault, kidnapping and killing of 24-year-old Chandra Levy while she was jogging in Washington's Rock Creek Park in May 2001.

Levy's body was found in the park the following year.

Defense attorney Maria Hawilo ridiculed the prosecution's case and said Guandique has been made a scapegoat.

After prosecutors and defense lawyers argued heatedly Wednesday regarding whether or not Jeanguenat should be allowed to testify, and what she would be allowed to disclose, Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher ruled that she could testify in the case, though he placed some restrictions on what information she could offer.