The man convicted of the murder of New York jogger Karina Vetrano has been sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of conditional release after two dramatic trials.
Chanel Lewis, 22, was sentenced Tuesday in the Supreme Supreme Court for the brutal murder and assault of the 30-year-old jogger.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of conditional release.
Lewis was convicted this month of the brutal murder of Vetrano when she was in August 2016 on a park trail near her parents' home in Howard Beach, Queens.
In an emotional victim-effect report read by Vetrano & # 39; s mother Cathie prior to the conviction, grieving mother knocked down Lewis as being & # 39; ruthless & # 39; and a & # 39; pathetic evil coward & # 39 ;.
& # 39; You are so disgusting that you have hidden her to be further profaned in the summer, hear through critters and animals … like a snake that you slipped into the night, & # 39; Cathie said to Lewis.
& # 39; I hope you have a long life in the prison of the law and the prison of your conscious. & # 39;
Chanel Lewis, 22, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for the murder and assault of 30-year-old Karina Vetrano while jogging in 2016 in Queens, New York.
In a dramatic new trial earlier this month, it only took five hours for a jury to convict Lewis for the murder and assault of Vetrano. An earlier trial ended in a hung jury in November.
The murder case was closely followed by many because it caused fear among women running alone and confusing investigators because they could not link the victim's DNA to the suspect for six months.
The case subsequently contributed to the change in DNA testing rules in New York and became embroiled in debates about racing and police procedures.
Vetrano – who worked as a speech pathologist – had left her on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at about 5:40 PM to go jogging along Spring Creek Park near her family's home.
A cold video surveillance showed how she ran across a road near her house as she headed for the park. It was the last time she was seen alive. She was arrested and caught a few minutes later.
Authorities said Vetrano was beaten in the face, dragged through thick weeds, thrown to the ground, violently raped, and then strangled.
Researchers later found that Vetrano had been fighting desperately for her life.
When she was unable to go home after her jogging, her father Phil tried to call her three times before alerting the police and starting a large-scale search.
Her father eventually found her body face down in the sand in a part of the thicket in the park, where they often started running together four hours later.
The case stunned researchers for months because they couldn't find anyone in their database that matched the DNA found under the victim's fingernails, in her neck and on her cell phone.
During their extensive investigation, the police took DNA samples from at least 360 black men who had previously been detained in Queens and Brooklyn.
Lewis & # 39; lawyers would later consider the move a & # 39; racing-influenced dragnet & # 39;
Police said Lewis eventually issued a DNA bar that linked him to the scene and the victim.
He was detained for six months in February 2017 for the murder investigation.
Police said Lewis's own phone contains downloaded photos of the crime scene and searches for information about the case.
In a recorded police confession, Lewis said he was angry with someone else – a neighbor of his who was playing loud music – and & # 39; it just lost & # 39; when he saw Vetrano.
& # 39; This girl is jogging … and you know, one led to another & # 39 ;, he said in the confession. & # 39; Beat her and such. & # 39;
Lewis said he struck her and strangled her but did not abuse her sexually.
Before Lewis & # 39; s arrest, the investigation led police prosecutors to request state permission to use a technique known as family DNA search – looking for people similar enough to be closely related to the one who left DNA at the crime scene, hoping that they will lead to a suspect.
The state committee for forensic science finally agreed in June 2017 to allow family DNA testing in cases of murder, rape and a few other cases. The decision came about objections from civil libertarians who said that the practice confuses law-abiding people in investigations because of their family ties.
By the time the committee gave its approval, Lewis had already been arrested.
Despite the DNA proof and the recorded confessional, the first trial ended in a hung jury in November.
His lawyers argued that Lewis's confession had been wrongly obtained and should not have been admitted to the trial. They said he only confessed because he wanted to go home after waiting 12 hours in an interrogation room.
The defense also argued that the case was based on indirect evidence. He said the crime scene was corrupted, also by the father of the victim, and that DNA evidence was suspicious.
During the first trial, prosecutors accused how Vetrano & # 39; s father rocked his daughter's lifeless body when she was found.
& # 39; He fell to his knees, cried and did what every parent would do. He rocked her and lifted her back to his chest, & # 39; prosecutors said.
& # 39; Although he picked her up and rocked her, he didn't bother her … he put her down when she appeared. & # 39;
The jury considered a day and a half before revealing that it was split.
Prosecutors promised to try Lewis again and he was held in custody until the trial resumed in March this year.
His defense lawyers used the same arguments during the new trial, including that his confession was enforced by detectives who carried him down until he finally gave them what they wanted.
The confession video was played to jurors during the new trial in which Lewis said: & I became angry. It turned red and then one led to the other. I got scared and threw her in the bushes. & # 39;
His lawyers said that in his confession Lewis only repeated information he heard from news reports about the murder.
They also unsuccessfully asked for his sentence to be postponed after receiving an anonymous letter stating that the police had chased two white suspects before taking DNA samples from hundreds of black men – in what the defense was a & # 39; race-biased dragnet & # 39; mentioned – and focused on Lewis.
The NYPD said in a statement that the anonymous letter was “full of lies and inaccuracies,” the investigation was meticulous, and the evidence clearly shows that Chanel Lewis is responsible for her death. & # 39;
Lewis was convicted a day later on April 1.
The Vetrano family and loved ones were filmed as they cheered when the jury issued the guilty verdict in the new trial.
& # 39; Anniversary. Justice Justice has been served, & Vítrano & # 39; s father Phil said to reporters while leaving the court.
Lewis & # 39; conviction was temporarily postponed last week due to accusations of improperness from the jury.
A jury member, Christopher Gooley, came forward and said that he was being pressured by other jurors to declare Lewis guilty.
It prompted Lewis's lawyers to ask the judge to declare a ministral for alleged misconduct by the jury.
Several jurors have denied Gooley & # 39; s accusations or refused to see it happen.
The judge then denied the request for another mistrial and re-evaluated Lewis's conviction.
Lewis's mother has long claimed that her son was incorporated and that some of his supporters have suggested that the DNA evidence used in his belief has been planted.