WASHINGTON, May 23 (UPI) -- The man convicted in the 2001 murder of Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy will likely get a new trial after government prosecutors declared it would serve the "interests of justice."
Government attorneys agreed not to oppose a new trial for Ingmar Guandique, who was sentenced to 60 years in prison for Levy's murder. The U.S. Attorney's Office said the amount of lapsed time from the 2010 trial has made it difficult to get accurate testimony in the appeal. Guandique has long argued a key witness in the 2010 trial lied about his alleged confession to the murder. Defense attorneys argued the witness, Guandique's former cellmate, made up the confession. The U.S. Attorney's Office said it stands behind the original conviction.
"We remain firm in our conviction that the jury's verdict was correct and are preparing for a new trial to ensure that Guandique is held accountable," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
Federal prosecutors asked the Superior Court of the D.C. Criminal Division to schedule a status hearing in two weeks, "by which time the government will have completed an assessment of the time needed to prepare for a retrial in this case."
Levy, 24, went missing May 1, 2001 while working as an intern for the Bureau of Prisons. Her remains were found a year later in Washington's Rock Creek Park, where she had gone jogging.
Her disappearance and subsequent death gained national attention after she was romantically linked to former Rep. Gary Condit, a Democrat who was a congressman for Levy's district in California, and emerged as one of Washington's most sensational murder cases. Condit was never a suspect in the case but was extensively questioned. He later lost the Democratic primary and left Congress in 2003.
Guandique was charged in February 2009 while serving a 10-year sentence for attacking other women in the park.