After key testimony was challenged, Ingmar Guandique gets a second hearing in the 2001 murder of a Washington, D.C., intern
Credit: AP(2)

The man accused of – and convicted in – the 2001 murder of Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy will get a second chance to prove his innocence early next year.

Jurors in 2010 found Salvadoran immigrant Ingmar Guandique guilty in the high-profile killing, nine years after Levy, 24, disappeared while jogging alone in Rock Creek Park in May 2001. Her remains were discovered a year later.

But Guandique maintained his innocence, and after his attorneys argued that a key witness who testified against him had lied, a judge earlier this month agreed to a new trial, now set for March 2016, The Washington Post reports.

The Levy case brought an abrupt end to the political career of married former California representative Gary Condit, whose reported relationship with Levy, an intern with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, came to light during her disappearance.

Questioned and cleared during the investigation, Condit testified during Guandique’s trial that he and Levy were on good terms when she went missing, but he refused to address whether the two were ever romantically involved. He said he had no role in her murder.

Guandique, 33, was sentenced to 60 years in prison and remains in the D.C. jail. No eyewitness, forensic evidence or cause of death tied him to Levy’s murder, according to the Post, but two female joggers testified about previous attacks at knifepoint in the park, for which Guandique had pleaded guilty in 2002 and was serving time.

The retrial was awarded after Guandique’s defense attorneys challenged a statement by their client’s former cellmate, a prison informant named Armando Morales, who testified that Guandique had confessed to killing Levy.

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