Almost 10 years ago, Chandra Levy went missing. Now, a guilty verdict brings closure for some to the Chandra Levy case. For others, Levy’s death is still extremely painful.
As indicated by Jury convicts man in killing of Chandra Levy in 2001, on Monday, a jury found Ingmar Guandique guilty of first-degree murder in the Levy case. During an exercise session at Washington’s Rock Creek Park, Guandique attacked Levy and killed her when she began to scream. Guandique, a member of the Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha, is already serving time for attacking two other women in the same Washington Park.
In May of 2001, when Levy first went missing, there were rumors swirling around about Levy’s romantic connection to Gary Condit. At that time, Condit was a California congressman. At the trial, Condit declined to answer if he was intimate with Levy. He did, however, express his discontent with the “media frenzy” and how it has negatively impacted his life.
As for the evidence, prosecutors focused on the related park attacks by Guadndique, along with “the testimony of Guandique’s former cellmate, Armando Morales.” Morales affirmed Guandique admitted to killing Levy.
Defense lawyer Santha Sonenberg maintained “Guandique’s DNA was never found on anything connected to Levy.” During closing arguments, Sonenberg continued to point the finger at Condit. In the end, the jury felt that Ingmar Guandique deserved a guilty sentence.
In the eyes of some, justice has been served. After all, “Guandique, 29, could be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years and a maximum of life in prison.” The sentence will be given on Feb. 11, 2011.
As for closure, this tragic incident has left behind a lot of pain. Susan Levy, Chandra’s mother, said, “I have a lifetime sentence of a lost limb missing from our family tree. It’s painful. I live with it every day. … There’s always going to be a feeling of sadness.”
Levy is just another promising women to have her life snatched away by a heartless criminal. Other murders to shock and pain the nation include the tragic death of Chelsea King, who was killed in early 2010 by a convicted sex offender. King was out going for a run when she disappeared.
Then, there was the 2006 gang-related shooting of Cheryl Green, a 14-year-old who was in her own neighborhood at the time of the unprovoked, unwarranted shooting. Unfortunately, the list of gang-related and sex offender attacks and murders go on and on. Life sentences are just one step for closure and justice for the loved ones who have to endure these nightmares.
Associated Press LA gang member convicted in hate-crime murder
Kelly Marshall Smoot Jury convicts man in killing of Chandra Levy in 2001 cnn.com
Associated Press Guilty verdict in Chandra Levy murder case msnbc.com