A Killing in Central Park: The Preppy Murder Case
Chambers Cops a Plea
However, unknown to the jury, who was sequestered in another room, a deal was being worked out behind the scenes. Litman and Fairstein were talking about a possible plea bargain. Pivotal in the talks was the outcome of pending charges for the burglaries committed by Chambers in 1986. Those felony charges combined with a possible conviction on manslaughter could put his client behind bars for a long, long time. While the jury was completing its ninth day of deliberations, word leaked out in the courtroom that a deal had been struck.
While the jury was out of the room, the plea in court began. Chambers stood with his attorney to hear Judge Bell ask the questions.
"Is it true, Mr. Chambers, that on August 26, 1986, you intended to cause serious physical injury to Jennifer Levin and thereby causing her death?" he said.
"Looking back on everything, I'd have to say yes, but in my heart I didn't mean for anything to happen," Chambers said as he stared at the floor. Fairstein interjected.
"Your honor we're asking about his mind and his hands, not his heart!" she said.
The judge repeated the question and this time, Chambers replied: "Yes, your honor." But he shook his head back and forth as if to indicate "no."
"Is there any question in your mind about causing her death?"
"There is no question, your honor," Chambers replied. He also had to plead out to the burglary charge. Sentencing was set for April 15. At 5:40 p.m., the jury was brought back into the courtroom and for the first time, they learned that a deal had been made. Judge Bell gave them the news.
"This matter has been disposed of. Thank you very much for your services," he said to the jury. Some of the panel began to cry as they marched out of the box. The media crush was everywhere, trying to interview anyone who would talk. A few minutes later, outside the court, Ellen Levin spoke to the TV cameras.