NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Queens judge is being asked to throw out key evidence in the case against the man accused of killing jogger Karina Vetrano.
Defense lawyers claim the prosecution’s case is prejudice with a questionable stop-and-frisk months before the murder.
Chanel Lewis, 20, was arrested in February 2017 in East New York, Brooklyn.
Vetrano’s murder went unsolved for six months until an NYPD lieutenant fingered Lewis as the man he’d seen roaming Vetrano’s Howard Beach neighborhood months before the rape and murder.
Lewis had been stopped and frisked, then let go but his name and address remained in the police log book.
Digging up that information led police to notes from medical calls when Lewis was a teenager, telling a 911 operator he wanted to hurt girls.
The NYPD calls it good police work, but the defense calls it an abuse of stop-and-frisk, claiming Lewis was targeted because he was black in a predominantly white neighborhood.
Prosecutors say Lewis’ DNA matched evidence found at the scene and his confession makes the case a slam dunk.
Lewis is accused of killing Vetrano as she jogged near her home in August 2016.
Late last year, his attorneys said Lewis will no longer pursue a psychiatric defense after doctors determined Lewis was not legally insane.
Lawyers from the Legal Aid Society are representing Lewis.