A new twist in a high profile homicide case. More than 11 years after Modesto native Chandra Levy was murdered, lawyers are still battling behind closed doors.
The Modesto Bee is reporting that prosecutors and defense attorneys wrangled in a secret session for nearly two hours Friday. The paper said they were discussing information that could undermine a prosecution witness and possibly change the outcome of the trial.
In 2010, a jury found Ingmar Guandique guilty of killing Levy after attacking her on a trail in a Washington, D.C. park in 2001.
Guandique's defense attorneys are appealing the conviction on grounds concerning statements made by the lead prosecutor as well as the alleged sharing of notes by jurors.
The Bee reported Friday's closed-door hearing had nothing to do with those two issues. Instead it had something to do with the trial's key witness - former Fresno Bulldogs gang member Armando Morales, who testified that Guandique had confessed to him while they were prison cellmates.
Morales is due to be released from federal prison in 2016, though his name no longer appears on the federal Bureau of Prisons inmate locator website. The paper noted the removal of his name could mean he is in protective custody.
The case drew national attention because Central Valley Congressman Gary Condit was having an affair with Levy at the time of her death. Levy was serving as his intern before her disappearance. Condit was never a suspect in the case.