What happens when false-documented predators find sanctuary in America.
One of the issues in the recent Virginia election was the Salvadoran MS-13 gang which thrives in the state, practically outnumbering the police in some counties. MS-13 is not a new arrival in the region, and one of its members, Ingmar Guandique, is the only person ever convicted for the murder of Chandra Levy of Modesto, California.
In 2001, the University of Southern California graduate, 24, was living in Washington and working as an intern at the federal Bureau of Prisons. On May 1, 2001, Levy disappeared without a trace. Fingers quickly pointed at congressman Gary Condit, 53, a Modesto Democrat with whom Levy was allegedly having an affair. As it happened, such presumption of guilt toward politicians was a legacy of the Clinton Era.
Bill Clinton, the Harvey Weinstein of his time, used his power to leverage Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and many others. Broaddrick claimed Clinton raped her, and that Hillary, supposedly an advocate for women, sought to silence her and other victims. President Clinton found willing women on his staff and did indeed have sex with “that woman,” Monica Lewinsky. The Clinton conquests made politicians the prime suspect in anything involving a young, attractive intern such as Chandra Levy.
Connie Chung of ABC news asked Condit if he had anything to do with Levy’s disappearance. “No, I didn’t,” the congressman said. Chung then asked him straight up if he killed Chandra Levy, and Condit answered, “No, I did not.” The police brought no charges against him.
After Levy’s disappearance, police searched Rock Creek Park, where Levy liked to run, but found nothing. On May 22, 2002, a man walking his dog in the park found Levy’s skull, and some of her clothing also turned up.
That same year, Ingmar Guandique, the illegal immigrant criminal from El Salvador, pleaded guilty to attacks on two female joggers in that same park but nobody connected the dots to the Levy murder. Guandique drew a sentence of 10 years and reportedly told other convicts he had killed Levy.
Police arrested Guandique in February, 2009, and the next year he stood trial for the murder of Chandra Levy. The prosecution had no DNA evidence, no eyewitness, and only secondhand accounts of Guandique’s alleged confessions. The two women Guandique attacked, one on the same day Levy disappeared, testified in the trial. After more than three days of deliberations, the jury found Guandique guilty but it didn’t end there.
The Salvadoran’s attorneys continued to point the finger at Condit, charging that he had an apartment near Rock Creek Park and a motive to kill Levy. The prison informant’s testimony came under scrutiny, the court overturned Guandique’s conviction, and in May of 2016 he was deported to El Salvador. Those events left plenty of room for reasonable doubt and Chandra’s mother was one of the doubters.
“I’d like to have more of an investigation,” Susan Levy told reporters. “Why would they let someone go who could have possibly killed somebody?” Chandra’s father Robert Levy also believed that Guandique had a “major part” in the killing. Condit has not been charged and the police have no other suspects.
Chandra’s parents could be forgiven for believing that Guandique got away with the crime, but two things remained certain. Chandra Levy, a young woman of great promise, was dead. And Salvadoran MS-13 gang member Ingmar Guandique was not supposed to be in the United States in the first place.
That was also true of Mexican national Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, also known as Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez and other names, a felon and repeat deportee. In 2015 this felon was in custody but the sanctuary city of San Francisco refused to release him to federal immigration authorities. On July 1, 2015, Zarate gunned down Kate Steinle as she walked with her father on a San Francisco pier.
The Mexican claimed it was an accident, that the Sig Sauer pistol, stolen from a federal ranger, went off by itself, and so forth. The shooter is now standing trial for second-degree murder in San Francisco, and his attorney Matt Gonzalez is trying to make a case based on the bullet’s ricochet. If Zarate wanted to kill Steinle, Gonzalez argues, he would have fired more than once.
The attorney is also claiming that Zarate’s background and nationality played a role in his prosecution. As Gonzalez argued, “If this was a college student or Swedish kid would he be charged with murder?” That sort of nonsense plays well in San Francisco, where the killing of Steinle did not even get a rise out of state Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Saukaye. In fact, she charges that ICE agents are “stalking” illegals in courthouses.
This trial is playing out in the mother of all sanctuary cities, where political correctness trumps the rule of law and even false-documented criminals get special protection. So nobody should be surprised if the shooter walks free and is not handed over to federal immigration officials. Whatever the outcome, two things remain true.
Kate Steinle, a young woman of great promise, is dead. Her killer, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, was not supposed to be in the United States in the first place.