New York man Chanel Lewis is expected to be sentenced Tuesday for the murder of Karina Vetrano. Court is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Prosecutors said that Lewis killed Vetrano while she was out jogging on Aug. 2, 2016 in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens. They were strangers. Her father said he went out to look for her because she was out longer than expected, and he found her dead body. The case went unsolved for months, but cops arrested Lewis in February 2017.
The defense argued that Lewis’ confession to police was coerced, that his DNA may have wound up in the scene some other way, and that Vetrano’s father may have unwittingly contaminated the crime scene in his grief by cradling her body.
It was enough to split jurors in the first trial, which ended in a mistrial last year. An alternate juror even told The New York Daily News that she would have voted to acquit. The jury in the second trial was more unified when they returned a guilty verdict on April 2.
The courtroom erupted in cheers when the decision came in.
WATCH: Family & friends of Karina Vetrano, a jogger murdered in Queens in 2016, exuberantly cheered & applauded in a NY courtroom as a guilty verdict was read against Chanel Lewis, the man charged with her murder. As Vetrano’s father left the courtroom, he shouted, “Jubilation!” pic.twitter.com/hV8BRhaVpz
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 2, 2019
There was a catch. Sentencing was pushed back because one of the jurors claimed he felt pressured, and that the foreman prejudged the case, according to Newsday.
It wasn’t enough to toss the conviction. A judge ruled Monday to dismiss the defense’s motion to acquit.
[Screengrab via CBS New York]