The Charges Against Chandra Levy’s Accused Murderer, Ingmar Guandique, Were Dropped

On Thursday, federal prosecutors dropped the murder charges against Ingmar Guandique, who was accused of murdering the federal government intern Chandra Levy in 2001. Guandique was originally convicted for Levy’s murder back in 2010, when he was sent to prison and sentenced to 60 years. However, he was granted a new trial this past year after lawyers claimed a key witnesses lied to the jury. Now, “based on recent unforeseen developments,” the charges against Guandique have been dropped.

When he was first put on trial for the murder of Levy, Guandique was already serving a 10-year prison sentence for attacking female runners, which increased suspicion of his guilt considering Levy’s body was discovered in the park she regularly ran in. During the whole trial, Guandique insisted he was innocent, and it appears now, after the breaking developments that remain confidential to the public, he will receive legal confirmation of his innocence.

A statement released in USA Today by Lauren Hankins, the general counsel to his public defender said: “Mr. Guandique has maintained since the beginning, when he passed an FBI administered lie detector test, that he did not kill Ms. Levy. This dismissal vindicates Mr. Guandique. Finally, the government has had to concede the flaws in its ill-gotten conviction.”

The U.S. Attorney’s office announced that once the legal process of dropping his charges is complete, he will be immediately released from jail into the custody of immigration agents because of his illegal immigration status from El Salvador.

While wrongfully accusing an illegal immigrant with a criminal background of a high-profile murder feels very American and in-tune with our way of unequally distributing responsibility, this immediately raises the question: if it really wasn’t Guandique, then who murdered Levy?

The first suspect that immediately comes to mind is former Congressman Gary Condit, who was caught in an extramarital affair with Levy before her death. An article published in The Washington Post in May included interviews with two women who were former lovers of Condit, who revealed his alleged penchant for bondage and aggression during sex.

After hearing these women’s stories, Guandique’s attorneys planned to use their accounts of Condit’s history of violent sex as a possible defense against the persistent allegations against their defendant, telling The Washington Post:

Aggressive sex involving bondage is not an entirely safe activity, and Mr. Condit would have had a powerful motive to dispose of Ms. Levy’s remains — and her tights that had been tied in knots — if she died during sexual activity with Mr. Condit.”

Explicit details surrounding the breaking information on Guandique’s innocence still haven’t been released to the public, and it remains to be seen whether or not Condit will be charged for the murder.