|Ingmar Guandique was convicted of first-degree murder in Chandra Levy’s disappearance and death. (Associated Press/File 2009)|
WASHINGTON — The man convicted of killing Washington intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in prison, a term that could keep him behind bars the rest of his life.
Ingmar Guandique, 29, would not be released from prison until he was at least about 80 years old, said District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher. The judge, who called Guandique a dangerous person and sexual predator, said the sentence would ensure he was not a danger to the community if he is released.
Guandique was convicted in November of first-degree murder in Levy’s 2001 disappearance and death, despite a lack of witnesses and no DNA evidence linking him to the crime.
During yesterday’s sentencing hearing, Levy’s mother, Susan Levy, asked Guandique directly if he had been responsible for her daughter’s death. He looked her in the eyes and shook his head.
“Mr. Guandique, you are lower than a cockroach,’’ Susan Levy told Guandique, calling him a “hideous creature.’’
Guandique, wearing an orange jumpsuit, said in a brief statement in Spanish that he was sorry for what happened to Levy. But, he added, “I had nothing to do with it. I am innocent.’’
Levy’s disappearance became a national sensation after she was romantically linked to Gary Condit, who was a California representative at the time of her disappearance. Police initially focused on Condit as a suspect. Levy’s remains were found in Rock Creek Park a year after she disappeared. Police eventually shifted their focus to Guandique, who was already serving a prison sentence for attacking female joggers in the park in the same time frame Levy disappeared.
Prosecutors asked for a life sentence, arguing that Guandique showed no remorse and had a history of violence toward women. Guandique’s lawyers argued for the minimum possible sentence of 30 years in prison. They pointed to his suffering as a child, including the severe poverty in which he was raised.