A judge in New York had upheld the murder conviction of Chanel Lewis, set to be sentenced today for the brutal killing of Karina Vetrano in August 2016.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lewis’s defense lawyers had filed a motion to overturn the conviction based on a juror’s sworn testimony that they were coerced to reach a guilty verdict. Lewis was found guilty in March in his second trial; his first ended in a hung jury and a mistrial.
Vetrano, 30, was found dead just hours after she left home for her regular jog in a park adjacent to Howard Beach, New York, where she lived. Her father Phil Vetrano notified police when she didn’t come back, and was among a group of law enforcement officials when they discovered her body in the brush along the running path. Lewis was arrested in February 2017, and reportedly gave a confession to detectives that his defense lawyers later claims was coerced.
The New York Times reports that Justice Michael B. Aloise denied the defense team’s request for a new trial following a hearing that included three jurors who gave testimony about their experience on the panel. Aloise reportedly issued a brief judgment Monday denying the motion but did not elaborate on why it was denied.
Lewis is expected in court on Tuesday morning for his sentencing, which was postponed after his defense team filed the motion.