WASHINGTON — Previously private court documents and transcripts of hearings related to the case of murdered Washington intern Chandra Levy will be made public, some immediately and others by the end of the week.
That's what a judge and government lawyers said during a court hearing Monday, but it's not clear how much new information the documents may provide. Lawyers have held a number of meetings in the case in recent months, but the public and press have not always been able to listen to all those meetings. The documents' release means that transcripts of all previously private hearings should be available to the public, though they may include redactions.
News organizations, including The Associated Press, have objected to the secrecy, but the judge overseeing the case said it was necessary for unspecified security reasons.
In general, lawyers have been discussing information that could discredit a key witness who helped convict Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique of Levy's death. The witness is Guandique's one-time cellmate, Armando Morales.
Morales testified during Guandique's 2010 trial that Guandique had confided he was responsible for Levy's death.
Defense attorneys have said they intend to request a new trial based on information that calls Morales' testimony into question. Defense attorneys said Monday they would likely file that request with D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher in October or November, within 45 days of the next hearing in the case, which is set for Sept. 26.
Levy's 2001 disappearance became international news after she was romantically linked with then-U.S. Rep. Gary Condit of California. He was questioned about her disappearance, but police no longer believe he was involved. The 24-year-old Levy's body was found in Washington's Rock Creek Park in 2002 and Guandique, who had previously been convicted of attacking women in the park, was ultimately charged.
Though Fisher ordered some of the post-trial hearing documents be made available immediately, they were not available by the close of business Monday. It is not clear, however, how much new information the documents may provide since recent hearings in the case have been more open.
For example, lawyers discussed openly Monday the information that could discredit Morales. A lawyer for Guandique, Jonathan Anderson, said there were numerous contradictions in Morales' testimony. He said, for example, that Morales testified he'd never come forward to law enforcement before approaching officials about Guandique's case.
A trial transcript shows that when Morales was asked at trial how he went about coming forward, he responded: "Well, I didn't know how to do it. As a matter of fact ... I was nervous about it. I don't have no trust in law enforcement, for reals."
What defense attorneys were apparently not told until recently, however, was that Morales told prosecutors that he had previously talked with law enforcement officials. Morales apparently discussed three murders with those officials in addition to drug and weapon dealing that was going on inside a Georgia prison where he was then incarcerated.
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Earlier on HuffPost:
Chandra Levy Murder
Chandra Ann Levy, a government intern, went missing in Washington, D.C. in May, 2001. The 24-year-old University of Southern California student had been interning with the Bureau of Prisons for seven months before she disappeared.
Chandra Levy Murder - The Parents
Levy's parents, Robert, right, and Susan, announced their campaign to upgrade their daughter's status beyond that of a missing person June 21, 2001 at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC.
Chandra Levy Murder
Washington, DC. police distributed these images of Levy on July 13, 2001 showing what she could look like with different hair styles.
Chandra Levy Murder - The Affair
US Congressman Gary Condit, D-CA, was under intense scrutiny in the Levy case, after Levy's father, Robert Levy, told police <a href="http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/26/chandra-levys-father-testifies-about-her-affair-with-condit/">he believed his daughter had been having an affair with the congressman</a>. The congressman said he had not heard from Levy in over a week, when police questioned him on May 8, 2001. His apartment was searched on July 9, 2001, where <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/specials/chandra/ch8_1.html">his affair with Levy was confirmed</a>.
Chandra Levy Murder - The Search
Police searched Rock Creek Park in Washington, DC. for Levy on July 16, 2001. Investigators saw in <a href="http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=DQBJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=2IIMAAAAIBAJ&dq=chandra%20levy%20laptop&pg=3598%2C66681">Levy's laptop history</a> that, on the day she disappeared, she'd looked up a "map site" for the Klingle Mansion in Rock Creek Park, The Vindicator reported.
Chandra Levy Murder - 1 Year Later
Kristinn Taylor attends a candlelight vigil marking the one-year anniversary of Levy's disappearance outside Levy's apartment building May 1, 2002 in Washington, DC.
Chandra Levy Murder - Remains Found
Levy's remains were not found until May 2002. <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2002-05-22/us/levy.body_1_chandra-levy-heartfelt-sorrow-and-condolences-levy-family?_s=PM:US">She was identified through dental records</a>, CNN reported.
Chandra Levy Murder - Memorial
In this photo a family friend of the Levy's wipes her eyes before a memorial on May 28, 2002 in Modesto, California.
Chandra Levy Murder - Suspect Named
Ingmar Guandique became a suspect in the Levy case after being arrested for allegedly attacking two women, Halle Shilling and Christy Wiegand, on May 14, 2001 and July 1, 2001, respectively, in the same park where Levy's body was found. On July 2, after being shown a photograph of Levy, Guandique told police he'd seen her in the park but did not attack her.
Chandra Levy Murder - Ingmar Guandique
On August 26, 2001, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/specials/chandra/ch10_printer.html">a jailhouse informant told police that Guandique confessed to killing Levy</a>. On May 19, 2009, Guandique was <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/pdf/GuandiqueArrestWarrant.pdf">indicted for first-degree murder</a>.
Chandra Levy Murder - The Trial
Nine years after her murder in Washington, DC, jury selection began in the case. The trial began on October 18, 2010.
Chandra Levy Murder - The Verdict
The <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/crime-scene/chandra-levy/levy-death-trial-jury-delibera.html">jury began deliberations</a> on November 15, 2010. Guandique was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder on Nov. 22.
Chandra Levy Murder - The Sentence
On February 11, 2011, a D.C. Superior Court judge sentenced Guandique to 60 years in prison.