November 22, 2010 by staff
Levy, (AFP) – A Salvadoran man accused of killing government intern Chandra Levy nine years ago was found guilty of her murder Monday, capping a case that scandalized US politics when a congressman admitted having an affair with her.
The jury reached their verdict against Ingmar Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, after four days of deliberations over the killing of 24-year-old Levy, whose romantic links to then-congressman Gary Condit of California initially fueled suspicion he was involved in her disappearance.
She went missing while jogging in Washington’s Rock Creek Park on May 1, 2001, and her remains were found a year later.
It took nearly eight years after Levy’s remains were discovered for authorities to gather sufficient evidence to charge Guandique in the case.
Lawyers for Guandique, who is already serving a prison sentence for separate attacks on women in the same park, had argued he was being made a scapegoat in the case.
His sentencing will be made at a later date, court officials said.
A native of California, Levy had been working in Washington as a US government intern before her disappearance triggered a high-profile investigation and missing person’s hunt.
The warrant issued for Guandique in March this year appeared to absolve Condit, who was repeatedly questioned in relation to the case amid a media frenzy in the US capital city, but was never named as a formal suspect.
After admitting to the relationship, Condit failed to win reelection, ending a 13-year career in the House of Representatives.
At least three witnesses have told police that Guandique boasted about killing Levy. Witnesses also said he admitted to her rape and of being a member of the violent Mara Salvatrucha gang.
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