D.C.

Chandra Levy trial: Ingmar Guandique attorneys say key witness lied

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The man convicted of killing Washington intern, Chandra Levy in 2001, wants a new trial. The defense laid out its case Tuesday, saying the key witness against Ingmar Guandique lied and is essentially a professional snitch.

The most damning testimony during Guandique's 2010 trial for the murder of Levy came from fellow inmate, Armando Morales. He said Guandique told him he attacked and killed Levy while she jogged in Rock Creek Park in 2001.

But Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court, defense attorney Jonathon Anderson said prosecutors knew at the time witness was lying. Earlier, he said prosecutors withheld information of a 911 call from one of Levy's neighbor's the day she disappeared.

During Guandique's 2010 trial, the key witness, Morales, stated he had never testified against an inmate before and said prison life would become more difficult for him.

But defense attorneys maintain Morales provided testimony and evidence against numerous inmates pertaining to a drug and gun running operation in a Georgia penitentiary.

They also say Morales was in a special lock-up for protection before he testified against Guandique. The defense says Guandique deserves a new trial since crucial testimony came from a man who they contend was lying.

A lawyer for the government, David Gorman, noted in court that it was the government that brought the information about Morales to the attention of the judge in November. Gorman said the case against Guandique was strong and Morales was only one witness.

Prosecutors released a statement after the hearing that said Morales "never asked for or received any benefit for his testimony in this case" and said it was "premature to cast doubt" on his testimony. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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