Chandra Levy’s Mother Seeks Post-Trial Evidence Sealing


Chandra Levy’s mother wants to lock up some of the trial evidence used to convict killer Ingmar Guandique, McClatchy Newspapers say. Susan Levy is asking the judge who presided over Guandique’s trial to keep sealed certain evidence sought by media organizations. “Specifically, Mrs. Levy objects to the release of photographs that contain Chandra Levy’s skeletal remains and trial exhibit photographs of Chandra Levy’s clothes and shoes,” says attorney Jani Tillery. “For Mrs. Levy, these photographs only stir up emotional anguish and retraumatization.”

Tillery dismissed the media’s demand for crime victim photos as “murdertainment.” Tillery, an attorney with the Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center, accompanied Susan Levy from the time Guandique’s trial began Oct. 25 to the Nov. 22 return of a guilty verdict. Led by the Washington Post, organizations including the Associated Press, Gannett and the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press asked Nov. 3 for “immediate and contemporaneous access” to all of the exhibits used in the high-profile trial. “It is well settled that both the First Amendment [ ] and the common law afford the public and the press presumptive rights of contemporaneous access to the records of an ongoing criminal trial, including items such as the trial exhibits,” attorney Patrick Carome argued for media organizations. This week, Tillery argued that, “Mrs. Levy should not have to face possibly seeing those horrible images of her daughter’s remains at any given time for the rest of her life when reading the newspaper, watching television or using the Internet.” Tillery added, “The media’s desire to quench the public’s insatiable thirst for sensationalism of gruesome, graphic crimes should not be obliged at the expense of a crime victim’s well-being.”

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