Jurors in Levy trial continue deliberating

November 19, 2010 

WASHINGTON — Jurors spent several more hours Thursday morning deliberating in the trial of the man prosecutors say killed former Modesto resident Chandra Levy.

The 12 jurors began their second day of deliberations a little after 10 a.m., after enduring long security lines outside the H. Carl Moultrie Courthouse. In recent days, it has taken 15 minutes or more to get into the courthouse.

Unlike Wednesday, when prosecutors and defense attorneys wrangled over evidentiary matters, the three male and nine female jurors convened without any associated legal arguments taking place. They commenced an hour-long lunch break shortly after 1 p.m., without any public indication of their progress.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys were not seen in public Thursday, and the judge trying the case was handling unrelated matters.

On Wednesday, the jurors had sent several notes to D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald I. Fisher. They asked for gloves, to be used in handling certain evidence, as well as a photograph of accused killer Ingmar Guandique.

There was no indication Thursday morning that the jurors had requested any additional information or instructions.

Prosecutors say Guandique killed the 24-year-old Levy on May 1, 2001 in Washington’s Rock Creek Park. An illegal immigrant from El Salvador, Guandique currently faces two charges of first-degree felony murder.

The charges assert that Gundique, now 29, killed Levy either in the course of an attempted robbery or during a kidnapping. The alleged kidnapping relates to Levy being forced into the woods off of the park’s Western Ridge Trail.

As a lesser alternative, the jurors will also be allowed to consider finding Guandique guilty of second-degree murder. The penalty for first-degree murder is 30-to-60 years, and the penalty for second-degree murder is 20-to-40 years.

Guandique is currently completing a 10-year federal sentence for attacking two other women in Rock Creek Park. Jurors learned of the attacks during the trial, and about the fact that Guandique was sentenced for them, but they did not learn about specifics.

The jurors also began their deliberations without knowing other aspects of Guandique’s life and times, including certain other allegations of wrongdoing, his illegal entry into the United States or the devil tattoo that he sports.

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