Jan. 23, 2013 USA Today
WASHINGTON -- There's a new mystery in a murder case that gripped the nation's capital a decade ago.
Federal prosecutors and lawyers for the man convicted of murdering 24-year-old former congressional intern Chandra Levy have met twice since December for secret court hearings about new information that could undercut the testimony of a prosecution witness. The court has closed off the hearings to public view — on one occasion locking the courtroom doors — and has ordered that legal filings be sealed.
Whatever the problem is, it is serious enough that lawyers for the Justice Department and Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted two years ago of killing Levy, have agreed to put his appeal on hold until it is sorted out. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher has summoned Guandique to appear at a Feb. 7 court hearing.
Gannett, parent company of USA TODAY, and three other news organizations — the Associated Press, The Washington Post and McClatchy Co. — asked Fisher on Wednesday to unseal the records. The Levy case records should be open to public inspection under the First Amendment, the organizations' lawyer, Patrick Carome, said in a court filing.
Levy disappeared in 2001. But the mystery of what happened to her became a national spectacle when media reports said she had been having an affair with then-congressman Gary Condit of California. Condit was cleared of any involvement in her death, but he was ousted from Congress in a primary election in 2002.