msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/14/2011 1:30:44 PM ET 2011-02-14T18:30:44

The mother of Washington intern Chandra Levy said Monday she'd like to believe the man convicted of killing her daughter is actually responsible, but admits she has a sliver of doubt.

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Asked if she felt 100 percent certain that Ingmar Guandique had been correctly convicted of the crime, Susan Levy said on CBS' "The Early Show" that, "To be honest, I always have that 5 percent of not being sure."

Guandique was sentenced Friday to 60 years in prison. He was convicted in November of first-degree murder in Levy's 2001 disappearance and death, despite a lack of witnesses and no DNA evidence linking him to the crime.

Story: Chandra Levy's killer gets 60 years
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During Friday's sentencing hearing, Susan Levy told Guandique he was "lower than a cockroach" and called him a "hideous creature."

She told CBS that she was speaking out for her daughter and her family. "It was emotional, it was very difficult," she said. "I did ... out of my love for her."

Levy's disappearance became a national sensation after she was romantically linked to then-California Rep. Gary Condit. Police initially focused on Condit as a suspect, but after Levy's remains were found in Rock Creek Park, police shifted their focus to Guandique, who was already serving a prison sentence for attacking female joggers in the park in the same time frame Levy disappeared.

Image: Chandra Levy
Washington, D.C. police via Reuters
This photo of Chandra Levy was released by police during their search for clues into her murder.

The District of Columbia Superior Court judge also rejected Guandique's request for a new trial. His lawyers had argued Guandique should be granted a new trial because jurors improperly shared notes in reaching a verdict. They also argued that prosecutors improperly appealed to the jury's emotions and facts that weren't part of trial evidence in making a graphic closing argument.

In response, prosecutors said the sharing of juror notes, if it happened, was at most a technical violation that did not substantially affect the trial's outcome.

Prosecutors had asked for a life prison sentence, arguing that Guandique showed no remorse and had a history of violence toward women. They said Guandique, an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, fled his village in that country as a teenager because he was suspected of attacking a woman at knifepoint.

At trial, prosecutors had no physical evidence or eyewitnesses linking Guandique to Levy's death but said it fit the pattern of his other attacks. In addition, a former cellmate of Guandique's testified that while Guandique was in prison on other charges he acknowledged he killed Levy.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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