State

Levy case suspect indicted

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors this week filed a six-count indictment against Ingmar Guandique in the 2001 murder and attempted sex- ual assault of former intern Chandra Levy.

In newly filed court documents, prosecutors charge Guandique with murder, kidnapping, attempted robbery and attempted first-degree sex abuse. Three of the six counts charge some variation of murder: either felony murder or first-degree murder with aggravating circumstances.

Citing various anonymous informants and other evidence, investigators say Guandique attacked Levy while she was jogging in Washington's Rock Creek Park.

The witnesses reportedly say Guandique told them he was part of a small gang that attacked Levy on May 1, 2001, although he is the only one charged and no other names have been made public.

"Guandique confessed that they put something in the woman's mouth so that she could not scream while they raped her," Washington police detective Todd Williams stated in an affidavit, citing one of the unnamed informants.

Raised in Modesto, where her parents still live, Levy was a graduate student finishing up a year in the nation's capital when she vanished. Her skeletal remains were discovered in Rock Creek Park in May 2002, after her disappearance had achieved national notoriety because of subsequent revelations about her relationship with then-Congressman Gary Condit.

Police never called Condit a suspect in Levy's disappearance, but widespread criticism of his behavior cost him his House seat in 2002.

The grand jury that issued Guandique's indictment was sworn in April 6, documents show. The four-page indictment essentially recites the charges but adds few new details to what prosecutors have previously said.

"Ingmar Guandique ... also known as 'Chucky,' also known as 'Chacky,' did seize, confine, kidnap, abduct, inveigle and carry away Chandra Levy, with intent to hold and detain (her) for the purpose of assaulting (her)," the indictment states.

Arraignment Wednesday

Guandique is scheduled to be arraigned in D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday. The indictment expands upon a brief public hearing last month, in which Magistrate Judge J. Dennis Doyle found probable cause to believe Guandique committed first-degree murder.

Indictments are issued by grand juries, which consider evidence presented by prosecutors but do not hear from defense attorneys. At next week's arraignment, Guandique could enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.

Guandique's attorneys have confined their public comments to written statements, in which they have criticized the investigation as flawed and reliant on untrustworthy jailhouse snitches.

"There is not a single witness to even see Mr. Guandique and (Levy) together," public defenders Santha Sonenberg and Maria Hawilo declared last month, further citing "made-up claims of unbelievable, self-serving jailhouse ... 'informants.' "

Now 27, a heavily tattooed illegal immigrant originally from El Salvador, Guandique already is serving a 10-year sentence on unrelated charges of attacking two other women in Rock Creek Park. He is being held in D.C. Jail.

Bee Washington Bureau reporter Michael Doyle can be reached at mdoyle@mcclatchydc.com or 202-383-0006.

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