Man Convicted In Chandra Levy Slaying

A jury in Washington, D.C., has convicted a Salvadoran illegal immigrant of murdering former intern Chandra Levy in 2001. Levy was romantically linked to former Rep. Gary Condit, who was once a suspect in the case that became a national sensation. Ingmar Guandique was convicted despite little direct evidence linking him to the crime.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, host:

And I'm Mary Louise Kelly.

Today, an end to a murder mystery that riveted the country nearly a decade ago. A Salvadoran immigrant has been convicted in the 2001 murder of Washington intern Chandra Levy. Levy's disappearance made headlines when she was romantically linked to then-Congressman Gary Condit.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.

JENNIFER LUDDEN: Twenty-four-year-old Chandra Levy disappeared in May 2001 after going jogging in a park in the nation's capital. Congressman Condit was the initial suspect, and cable TV seized on the story. It became a symbol of a nation obsessed with the sensational in the months before the terror attacks of 9/11.

Condit denied any involvement, and the case went cold for the better part of a decade. Then, last year, prosecutors charged 29-year-old Ingmar Guandique with the murder. There were no eyewitnesses and no forensic evidence, but the illegal immigrant had been convicted in 2002 of attacking two other female joggers in the same park.

Today, juror Susan Kelly said their testimony was powerful.

Ms. SUSAN KELLY: Just because of the emotion, it would have been hard for anybody in that courtroom not to be moved by their stories. It was very powerful testimony.

LUDDEN: A former cellmate also said Guandique confessed to the killing in 2006. Defense lawyers insisted the investigation was mishandled and their client made a scapegoat. Chandra Levy's mother, Susan, let out a sigh when the verdict was read but told reporters it doesn't lessen her sense of loss.

Ms. SUSAN LEVY: I'm not sure if it's a sense of peace, but I could certainly tell you it ain't closure.

LUDDEN: Guandique was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and faces 30 years to life in prison.

Jennifer Ludden, NPR News, Washington.

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