New Chandra Levy Case Hearings Will Remain Closed
The Chandra Levy hearings remain shrouded in secrecy after a judge maintained restrictions on the media’s ability to report on recent hearings in the case.
Levy, a 24-year-old Washington, D.C., intern was killed in 2002 and her body was found in a park. Her case is back in court, but Judge Gerald Fisher’s actions have so far caused the case to be a mystery.
CNN reports that Fisher ordered on Thursday that the substantive details of the hearings on December 18, January 4, and at least one upcoming hearing remain sealed.
The ruling was disappointing to a number of media outlets who filed court papers seeking to unseal the information. Patrick Carome, an attorney representing the media outlets, stated:
“We’re very disappointed with the court leaving in place essentially blanket secrecy.”
The Washington Post notes that the man convicted of killing Chandra Levy, Ingmar Guandique, has appeared at the hearings to ask Fisher to order a new trial in the case. The 31-year-old man’s public defenders have said the new trial is warranted because of new information that prosecutors have received about a key witness in the case.
It is unclear what the new information is or what merit it can give to the case, because the hearings have been sealed. The request to unseal the files was denied because the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled the sealing of Chandra Levy’s new case files was constitutional to protect the safety of the witness.
Guandique has been flown from a federal prison in Alabama for the proceedings. The man repeatedly denied involvement in Chandra Levy’s death. Prosecutors also acknowledged a lack of DNA evidence in the case, as well as a lack of witnesses. A former cellmate testified that Guandique confessed to killing Levy. A jury found him guilty in 2010. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
There is no word on when the new information in the Chandra Levy case will be unsealed to the public.