The man accused of killing a jogger in Howard Beach during the summer of 2016, has confessed and disclosed the disturbing details of the crime.
Chanel Lewis, 21, told police he spotted 30-year-old Karina Vetrano alone, jogging with a phone in her hand during the evening of Aug. 2, 2016, the New York Daily News reports.
“I grabbed her by the shoulders. [...] I crouched over her and I punched her in the face multiple times,” said Lewis during his confession. “One of the punches broke her tooth.”
The transcripts of Lewis’ talks with police were made public on Tuesday at a Queens Supreme Court hearing. A videotaped interview of Lewis confessing to police was played in the courtroom. The accused killer appeared to speak of his alleged crimes in a matter of fact tone in the video, the New York Daily News reports. The Associated Press reports that Vetrano’s family listened to the confession with tears in their eyes.
Despite the recorded confessions, Lewis’ attorneys claim their client is innocent of murder and sexual abuse. Lewis has repeatedly denied raping Vetrano.
"I didn't do any of the stuff they said, sexual assault and stuff like that,” he reportedly told police.
[..] I put both my hands around her neck and strangled her [...] I grabbed both of her wrists and pulled her off the path and into the weeds. Her pants came off while I was dragging her.”
He also allegedly admitted that he killed her to release his own anger.
"She didn’t do anything,” he said. “I was just mad at that time. I beat her to let my emotions out. I didn’t really mean to hurt her. It just happened.”
Lewis was linked to the strangling murder of Vetrano by DNA found under the jogger’s fingernails. If convicted of murder and sexual abuse, he faces life in prison without parole.