A D.C. Superior Court judge on Friday pushed back by nearly three months the retrial of the man convicted of killing former federal intern Chandra Levy.
The rescheduling to May 23 came after prosecutors said they needed more time to compile documents demanded by the defense. To date, defense attorneys for Ingmar Guandique have asked for more than 19,000 documents, photographs and audio recordings.
“It appears to be a technology issue, rather than an (effort) issue,” Judge Robert E. Morin said of the prosecutors.
Defense attorney Eugene Ohm argued against delaying the trial. Ohm said the government had “known about this trial date for a long period of time” and that further delays would be “grossly unfair” to Guandique.
19,000 Pages of documents requested by defense
The initial trial date of March 1 was set last June. Guandique was originally sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gorman, one of three prosecutors present during the 20-minute hearing Friday, said some of the electronic files the defense had requested were in formats that were unrecognizable or too large or were irrelevant to the case.
Morin granted the prosecutors’ request for more time. He also set Nov. 7 as a tentative backup date at the request of the defense. Morin asked both sides to keep their schedules open on that date but encouraged them to make the May date work.
Guandique was originally convicted in 2010, nearly a decade after the murder of the 24-year-old Levy, who had worked as an intern at the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Guandique had two previous convictions for assaulting women and was already in prison at the time of his arrest in the Levy case.
Levy went missing in 2001, and her remains were found in Washington’s Rock Creek Park a little more than a year later. Her disappearance gained national attention when it was discovered that she had been having an affair with then-Rep. Gary Condit of California.
A key factor in the outcome of the initial case was testimony from Armando Morales, a former Fresno, California, gang leader and onetime cellmate of Guandique’s. While Morales’ testimony was largely viewed as the cornerstone in the prosecution’s case, a subsequent defense investigation found he had a marred history as an informant.