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Chandra Levy trial's key players: The defense team

October 25, 2010 - 07:46 AM
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As the Chandra Levy trial continues, TBD introduces the major players in the case.

The Victim:
Chandra Levy

The Defendant: Ingmar Guandique

The Other Guy: Gary Condit

The Judge: Gerald I. Fisher, D.C. Superior Court judge.

The defense team:  Santha Sonenberg and Maria Hawilo.

Both Sonenberg and Hawilo are attorneys from the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Sonenberg was admitted to the D.C. Bar in 1983 and has a clean disciplinary record, while Hawilo has been a member of the bar since 2004 and also has no disciplinary history, according to online records.

The pair has already provided an at times fiery defense of their client, including the day an arrest warrant was issued, when they released a statement criticizing the investigation.

"This flawed investigation, characterized by the many mistakes and missteps of the Metropolitan Police Department and every federal agency that has attempted to solve this case, will not end with the simple issuance of an arrest warrant against Mr. Guandique," Sonenberg and Hawilo said in the statement, according to the Washington Post. "The public should not draw any conclusions based on speculation by the media and incomplete information."

A recent McClatchy profile noted that Sonenberg appeared “buttoned-down and serious nearly all the time.” Hawilo is described as a “University of Michigan Law School graduate in her early 30s, who will sometimes turn to Sonenberg for guidance.”

Sonenberg, at least, seems to occasionally have a flair for the dramatic. After delivering a spirited argument to dismiss the case because of a pen pal ruse concocted in an attempt to draw a confession out of Guandique, a prosecutor said Sonenberg’s motion was worthless, aside from “providing some nice soundbites.”


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