The mother of murdered jogger Karina Vetrano took the stand at the retrial for her accused killer, Chanel Lewis, on Tuesday, revealing the last time she saw her daughter alive and reliving the moments when she learned Karina had been killed very close to her home.
ABC News reports that Karina’s mother Cathie Vetrano took the stand during the second day of testimony at Lewis’s retrial at Queens Supreme Court, the first time that the grieving mother has taken the stand.
Lewis, now 22, stood trial for Vetrano’s August 2016 murder in New York late last year, but a judge declared a mistrial when a jury couldn’t come to a verdict — after only 13 hours of deliberations.
Testifying for the first time, Cathie Vetrano describes the moment she learned her daughter, Karina, was dead, “I was screaming in the street.” Under cross-examination, defense attorney refers to victim as “Katrina.” Mrs Vetrano snaps back, “Excuse me, her name is Karina.” pic.twitter.com/SqHUyV0BI6
— N. J. Burkett (@njburkett7) March 19, 2019
When she took the stand on Tuesday, Karina’s mother described her reaction to learning that her daughter had been found dead in a park adjacent to their Howard Beach neighborhood just hours after she left for a regular after-work run. Vetrano reportedly said on the stand that she last saw her daughter in the kitchen of their home before she left for the run. Hours later, once Karina’s body had been found in the park, Vetrano said she was “screaming in the street.”
The next time she saw her daughter was “in a funeral parlor, in a coffin,” Vetrano said.
The mother also sternly corrected a defense attorney who got her daughter’s name wrong during a cross-examination, reportedly calling the victim “Katrina,” according to WABC-TV.
“Excuse me, her name is Karina,” Vetrano said.
Prosecutors told ABC News that the retrial is expected to last three weeks.