Chandra Levy Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

A man serving a prison sentence for attacking women in a Washington park pleaded not guilty Wednesday to killing federal intern Chandra Levy.

Twenty-seven-year-old Ingmar Guandique was arraigned in District of Columbia Superior Court on six counts, including first-degree murder, kidnapping and attempted sexual abuse. He pleaded not guilty to all counts.

Guandique listened through a Spanish translator during the hearing. He kept his head down and remained silent, except to reply "si" when asked if he understood the charges.

Judge Geoffrey Alprin set a two-week jury trial for Jan. 27. Guandique's public defender, Santha Sonenberg, asked the judge for more time to prepare, but Alprin insisted on the date.

Following the arraignment, Sonenberg and another defense attorney issued a statement calling the prosecution's evidence "false and deficient."

Levy, a Modesto, Calif., native, disappeared in May 2001, and her remains were found in Rock Creek Park a year later. Guandique has been serving a 10-year sentence for two other attacks in the same park.

The case has been blamed for destroying the political career of former U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California, who was romantically linked to Levy. Authorities questioned the Democrat who represented the Modesto district where Levy grew up, but he was never a suspect.

A status hearing in the case is set for July 31.


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