Chandra Levy's killer sentenced to 60 years in prison

The man convicted of killing former Washington intern Chandra Levy nearly a decade ago was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison.

Ingmar Guandique, 29, will not be eligible for parole until he is at least 80, D.C. Superior Court Judge Gerald I. Fisher said, rejecting pleas for a minimum sentence by lawyers for the illegal immigrant from El Salvador.

"I think he is a dangerous person," Fisher said. "I think he is a dangerous person to women in particular, and I think will remain one for quite some time."

Levy's mother, Susan Levy, addressed the killer during the sentencing hearing. "Mr. Guandique, you are lower than a cockroach," she said, the Associated Press reported.

Guandique, who listened to Friday's proceedings through a headset, was dressed in an orange jumpsuit and was mostly restrained, although he appeared to be crying when the judge asked for his comments.

"I'm very sorry for what happened to your daughter," Guandique said, addressing Levy's parents through an interpreter. "But I had nothing to do with it. I am innocent."

Levy, 24, was planning to return to her hometown of Modesto after completing an internship with the Bureau of Prisons. She disappeared on May 1, 2001, while running in Washington's Rock Creek Park, where her remains were discovered 13 months later.

Her disappearance set off a dragnet by the police and the FBI that prompted headlines worldwide because it initially ensnared then-Rep. Gary Condit (D-Ceres), a married man who was reportedly having an affair with Levy.

Guandique was convicted of first-degree murder in November. He was serving a 10-year prison sentence for assaulting two women at knifepoint in the park around the time of Levy's disappearance and was to have been released in December. The new sentence will keep him in jail until at least 2062.

Guandique's attorneys discussed his underprivileged upbringing in El Salvador and his psychological problems when making a case for a shorter sentence, but Fisher said that if Guandique didn't deserve life in prison, he deserved something close to it.

"That may be a life sentence," Fisher said. "In all likelihood it is a life sentence."

Fisher also recommended that Guandique receive counseling for sexually deviant behavior and that he be supervised for five years if he's eventually released from prison.

Fisher cited Guandique's history of criminal behavior against women and disturbing comments to police about an inability to stop himself from assaulting people in isolated and vulnerable positions.

"The victim was a young, vibrant person with her whole life ahead of her," Fisher said. "This is a truly powerful crime."

julie.mianecki@latimes.com

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