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Defendant's 'Pen Pal' Testifies In Levy Murder Trial

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Ingmar Guandique, found guilty of murdering Chandra Levy, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Ingmar Guandique, found guilty of murdering Chandra Levy, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

On day seven in the Chandra Levy murder trial, potentially damaging evidence was presented from a woman described as former prison pen pal to defendant, Ingmar Guandique.

Miami resident Maria Mendez told jurors that she writes to prison inmates who run ads for pen pals in magazines. On direct questioning, Mendez says Guandique got her mailing address from another inmate whom she had corresponded with.

In a two-and-a-half page letter sent to her, Mendez says the defendant listed bad things he had done, or was accused of doing. The list, according to Mendez included "Muchacha Muerta," or "dead girl" in Spanish.

On cross examination Mendez acknowledged Guandique never admitted to murder. She said soon after, she ended correspondence with the defendant, telling him she did not feel safe.

Mendez's testimony was the first attempt by prosecutors to connect Guandique to the murder of the former Congressional intern. The attempt was crippled by the fact that the jury never got to see the letter.

Mendez says after she stopped writing to Guandique, she threw his letters away.


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