Chanel Lewis, 22, was accused of killing 30-year-old Karina Vetrano as she walked on a park trail in Howard Beach in Queens, in August 2016. The prosecutors said Vetrano was sexually abused and strangled. Her father discovered the body. (Getty / Instagram, File)
The suspect in the murder of Karina Vetrano, a woman who was sexually attacked and strangled while jogging near her family in New York City home, is triggered by what he described as immoral acts on behalf of the prisoners and guards on Rikers Island, according to a report.
“Captains try to tell inmates to beat me up,” Chanel Lewis, 22, told The New York Post about corrections supervisors.
WARNING: DISTURBING DETAILS BELOW
Lewis added that correction officers were instructing the inmates to call him a “f—-t, the a-word and p-word.”
Lewis told the Post that the semen of his fellow-prisoners — who were to masturbate often — stepped in his food. He said that the prisoners got the sperm on the hands of the female correction officers, who then passed him his food and water.
“Female guards hands are [a] danger for the health. Food in the hot pot is contaminated,” Lewis told the Post.
Lewis, 22, was accused of killing 30-year-old Karina Vetrano as she walked on a park trail in Howard Beach in Queens, in August 2016. The prosecutors said Vetrano was sexually abused and strangled. Her father discovered the body.
A mistrial was declared at the end of November.
The prosecutors said that they are going to try Lewis, who is expected back in court on Jan. 20.
The closely watched case had baffled researchers, who for months were unable to find anyone who matched the DNA that was found under the victim’s nails if she fought back. The DNA was also found on her neck and phone.
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Robert Boyce, the New York Police Department’s chief of detectives, said the breakthrough came after the police went back through 911 calls and found there a report of a suspicious person in the vicinity of the attack. Lewis was tested and linked to DNA found at the scene and on the victim, said Boyce.
In his taped confession, Lewis told the police that he was angry with a neighbor, and who, when he was about Vetrano on a remote part of a wetland park, “he lost.” He said that he beat and strangled her, but not molest her.
“This girl jogging… and you know, one thing led to another,” he told detectives. “Hitting her, and that kind of stuff.”
His lawyers said the confession was illegally obtained and should not be admissible in the trial. They said that he confessed only because he wanted to go home after an hour of waiting in an interrogation room.
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Attorney Robert Moeller said the case was based on circumstantial evidence. He argued that the place of the crime was damaged, and that DNA evidence was suspect.
“This case is far from convincing, and the jury’s deadlock proves this,” the legal Aid Society, which helped our defense for Lewis, said in a statement. “The death of Karina Vetrano is tragic, and our hearts go out to her family, but the rush to criminalize our client is not the answer, nor is it right.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.