The family of suspected murderer Chanel Lewis continues to deny that he could have been responsible for a murderous attack on a young jogger this summer despite overwhelming incriminating evidence.
Lewis was arrested this weekend for the murder of Karina Vetrano, the 30-year-old Howard Beach, New York, woman who was attacked and viciously killed after going for an early evening jog on August 2.
Police have said that Lewis confessed to killing Vetrano, and provided a detailed account of the murder, explaining that he killed the innocent young woman basically because he was in bad mood. According to sources who spoke to the New York Post, Lewis said, “I was angry. I had some issues at home. I just lost it. When I saw her, I just hit her and kept hitting her. I hit her and choked her.” Lewis has reportedly not confessed to the sexual assault, but police are expected to charge him.
Vetrano, who is believed to have fought mightily against her attacker, had DNA under her fingernails, on her neck and on her cell phone. Lewis volunteered for a DNA swab on Thursday, and it was quickly matched to the DNA found on the victim.
Still, Lewis’s family continues to insist that the 20-year-old man with no police record is innocent — even as reports are surfacing that he had threatened to hurt women in the past.
“They set him up,” the suspect’s sister, Vanessa Forbes, told the New York Daily News. “I think the cops framed him because he’s a black person.”
“The DNA lies sometimes,” she continued. “They wanted to get confirmation so they framed him for murder.”
While Lewis was a student at Martin De Porres High School for emotionally and behaviorally challenged students in Rockaway, administrators reportedly contacted the police after Lewis spoke about a desire to hurt women with a knife. According to the Daily News, the incident was documented but Lewis was not charged.
More recently, Lewis reportedly spoke of his hatred of women to police, but nothing was done.
There was nothing actionable,” a source told the Daily News. “There was no victim. There was no complainant.”
Vetrano’s mother Cathy Vetrano shared her anger and grief at Lewis’s arraignment on Sunday, which was attended by more than a dozen of the victim’s family members.
“A savage murderer,” Mrs. Vetrano reportedly said at the courthouse, according to the Daily News. “He f—ing murdered my daughter, my beautiful innocent daughter.”
She then turned toward Lewis: “Now your nightmare begins.”