NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There were gasps in the courtroom as the defense suddenly rested Thursday after questioning just a single witness in the murder trial of Chanel Lewis.
Lewis is accused of sexually assaulting and killing jogger Karina Vetrano in Howard Beach, Queens, back in August of 2016.
Lewis’ attorney questioned the investigator for a few minutes, with prosecutors frequently objecting and most of their objections being sustained.
After a few minutes, Lewis’ defense rested.
To simplify matters for the jurors, prosecutors dropped nine counts against Lewis, almost all of which were essentially duplicative.
The jurors are off until Monday, at which point they are expected to start deliberations.
Last week, jurors heard a taped confession from Lewis, 22, in which he told detectives he didn’t know Vetrano.
In the taped confession, Lewis was asked how many times he hit Vetrano in the face.
“Around five,” Lewis replied.
“Was she still moving when you had your hands around her neck?” the detective asked.
“Well, yeah. Then she dropped in the water. After that she was just lying there,” Lewis said.
Lewis’ attorney has said police coerced his client’s confession by keeping him in isolation during the six-hour interrogation.