By early next week, hundreds of pages of previously sealed or redacted transcripts and pleadings in the Chandra Levy murder case are expected to become public. The first round of documents was sent out by the U.S. attorney's office last night, and more are expected to come out over the next week.
The documents will shed light on issues that the defense lawyers in the case say warrant a new trial. Ingmar Guandique was convicted in 2010 of killing Levy, a congressional intern, but the case was reopened late last year after prosecutors notified the court that they had learned of potentially impeaching evidence related to Armando Morales. Morales, who shared a cell with Guandique, testified at trial that Guandique confessed to him.
According to Guandique's lawyers at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, the new information would contradict Morales' statements at trial that he had never come forward to law enforcement before. Defense lawyers have also accused prosecutors of failing to turn over evidence proving Morales' past contacts with law enforcement before the trial. Prosecutors have countered that the new information isn't as significant as Guandique's lawyers claim.
District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Gerald Fisher kept most hearings and filings sealed until now, out of a concern that disclosing information about Morales would put his safety and the safety of his family at risk. At a hearing yesterday, Fisher ordered transcripts of the sealed hearings and filings—still with some redactions of sensitive information—be publicly disclosed.
Five transcripts from hearings in January, February (here, here and here) and April were released last night. They mostly detailed disputes over discovery and over what information could be made public. Patrick Carome, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr representing media organizations, argued for the release of more documents that the lawyers in the case provided to the judge. The request was denied.
During yesterday's hearing, prosecutors said they expected to make the other transcripts and pleadings available by early next week. Another status hearing is scheduled for September 26.
A previous version of this article misstated whose trial testimony was at issue.