CHAMBERS
David Duprey  /  AP FILE
Robert Chambers leaves Auburn Correctional Facility in Auburn, N.Y., on Feb. 14, 2003, after serving 15 years for manslaughter conviction in the killing of Jennifer Levin on Aug. 26, 1986.
updated 11/24/2004 9:12:06 PM ET 2004-11-25T02:12:06

“Preppie Killer” Robert Chambers was arrested on a drug charge a year and a half after he was released from prison, where he served a 15-year sentence for manslaughter.

Chambers, 38, was freed on $1,000 bail Wednesday after being arraigned on two misdemeanors, drug possession and driving with a suspended license. The court complaint said the license was suspended in May when Chambers failed to answer a summons for running a red light.

He was arrested Tuesday in a traffic stop when police allegedly found two straws and a tinfoil packet that had crack cocaine residue. Chambers was ordered to return to court Monday.

Chambers strangled 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in 1986 during a tryst in Central Park, and the slaying was splashed across New York City’s tabloids as a story of privileged youth gone bad.

He claimed he killed Levin, a private-school student from a well-to-do family, accidentally during rough sex. Prosecutors said he was drunk and high on drugs and killed her in a rage when he was unable to perform sexually.

Behind bars, he committed a number of violations, including drug possession and assault on a guard, that kept him from being released early. He spent a third of his time in solitary confinement and was rejected for parole five times.

Chambers pleaded guilty to manslaughter after the jury in his murder trial deliberated for nine days and prosecutors feared a deadlock. He was released in February 2003 after serving the full 15 years.

His lawyer refused to comment on the drug charge. “We would just ask everybody to suspend judgment until we find out what happened,” attorney Brian O’Dwyer said.

Chambers lives in Manhattan and works in retail outside the city, his lawyer said.

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