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In jailhouse interview, suspect accused of murdering jogger Karina Vetrano insists he is innocent, says prison food is ‘contaminated’

The suspect awaiting a retrial for the murder of Karina Vetrano spoke to the New York Post from Rikers Island, where he appears to have numerous complaints.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Chanel Lewis’s first trial ended in a hung jury and a mistrial last month. Lewis, 22, had confessed to murdering Vetrano, and his DNA was found on the victim. However, Lewis denied sexually assaulting Vetrano, who was murdered in August 2016, appearing to contradict evidence that showed she was sexually assaulted.

In multiple interviews with the New York Post, Lewis complained about the conditions at Rikers, claiming that the excessive masturbating of fellow inmates was causing unhygienic conditions, by getting body fluids on the hands of prison guards.

“Female guards’ hands [are a] health hazard. Food inside the hot pot is contaminated,” Lewis told the Post.

Lewis further claimed that these female guards were encouraging the inmates to masturbate, by telling them “wanna wrap their legs around them and get an orgasm … I think it’s really gross.”

The inmate also accused guards of trying to provoke his fellow inmates to hurt and verbally abuse him.

“Captains are trying to tell inmates to beat me up,” Lewis claimed, later admitting that he had not suffered any injuries.

The suspect also insisted he was not guilty, despite his confession, which his defense team argued was coerced.

Lewis said he was “completely innocent,” according to the report.

The newspaper contacted the City Department of Corrections about Lewis’s allegations, and spokesman Peter Thorne said, “These allegations are troubling, and claims about the safety and well-being of people in custody is something we take seriously. We will investigate this immediately.’’