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Chandra Levy Update: Jury Deliberates in Murder Trial

Chandra Levy and Ingmar Guandique (CBS/AP)

Chandra Levy Update: Jury Deliberates in Murder Trial
Chandra Levy and Ingmar Guandique (CBS/AP)

WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) Jurors in the Chandra Levy murder trial are expected to begin their second day of deliberations Thursday.

PICTURES: Chandra Levy Murdered

Ingmar Guandique is facing murder charges in the 2001 disappearance and death of Levy.

The Washington intern's story made national headlines when she was romantically linked to Gary Condit, then a Democrat representing parts of California in Congress. Condit was initially the main suspect but police no longer believe he was involved.

In closing arguments Tuesday, public defender Santha Sonenberg said it was Condit - and not her client - who acted "like a guilty man" in the months after Levy went missing.

Prosecutors say Levy's death fits the pattern of other crimes committed by Guandique in 2001.

Ingmar Guandique is accused of murdering Levy nearly a decade ago while she exercised in Washington's Rock Creek Park. Her remains were found in the park roughly a year after she went missing.

Sonenberg reminded the jury Tuesday how fervently police pursued Condit.

"Back in 2001 the tunnel vision in this case was with regard to Mr. Condit. By 2008, 2009, the tunnel vision had changed and it focused on our client," Sonenberg said.

Sonenberg said there is powerful evidence of Guandique's innocence, including DNA from an unknown male found on Levy's tights. The DNA matches neither Guandique nor Condit, and Guandique's DNA was never found on anything connected to Levy.

Prosecutors argue that the DNA likely came from contamination by someone who handled Levy's tights as evidence. Sonenberg pointed out that the government could have checked the DNA against anybody who handled the tights, but apparently failed to do so.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Haines, meanwhile, acknowledged that the case against Guandique lacks DNA evidence or eyewitnesses. But she asked jurors to use their common sense and to believe the testimony of a prison inmate who says Guandique confided in him that he killed Levy.

"Justice is what needs to happen for this young girl," Haines said. "She's been waiting nine years for justice."

The jury began deliberating on Wednesday.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE CHANDRA LEVY CASE

  • Edecio Martinez

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