Criminal Procedure

Judge reveals dispute about whether prosecutors withheld critical evidence in Chandra Levy case

Federal prosecutors and defense lawyers in the Chandra Levy case have been battling in sealed proceedings over the existence of a prosecution witness’s history of cooperating with law enforcement, District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher revealed yesterday.

In early 2012, prosecutors learned that government witness Armando Morales previously provided information to law enforcement about violent crimes, and that this information wasn’t disclosed to lawyers for Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted of killing Levy, a former congressional intern, the Blog of the Legal Times reports. Morales and Guandique shared a prison cell, and Morales testified that Guandique confessed to Levy’s murder during that time.

“Armando Morales lied to the jury in this case, and the Department of Justice had the proof of those lies, both before and during the trial,” Guandique’s lawyer, Jonathan Anderson of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, said after the open court hearing, according to the report.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Gorman disputed defense lawyers’ characterization of the evidence and its importance. The Blog of the Legal Times reports that Guandique’s lawyers are preparing to file a motion for a new trial, at which time Fisher would hold a hearing and likely weigh the new information related to Morales.

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