Attorneys for Ingmar Guandique, the man convicted in November of killing former federal intern Chandra Levy, submitted a request to a D.C. Superior Court judge for a new trial claiming "juror misconduct" and a prosecutor's "improper closing arguments."
Attorneys Maria Hawilo and Santha Sonenberg, of the District's Public Defender Service, filed the motion on behalf of Guandique. Such motions are fairly standard after a guilty verdict in a high-profile trial. Guandique is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 11.
In their petition, the attorneys argued that Judge Gerald I. Fisher, who oversaw the trial, instructed the jurors to take their own notes or use their memory of the evidence that was presented. Following the trial, one juror told The Washington Post that a fellow juror failed to take notes and other jurors shared their notes with that juror during deliberations.
The attorneys also claimed Assistant U.S. attorneys Amanda Haines and Fernando Campoamor-Sanchez used an "improper" closing, when they cited Guandique's "propensity" to attack women and thereby "elicited sympathy" for Levy, 24, and also "inflamed the passions" of the jurors. Guandique,29, had been convicted of attacking two other women in Rock Creek Park in the summer of 2001, around the same time Levy disappeared. Fisher allowed evidence of those crimes to be admitted in Levy's murder trial.
Fisher has not yet ruled on Guandique's attorneys request for a new trial.