NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A jury has asked to review a confession tape and other evidence in the murder trial of Chanel Lewis, the man accused of killing Queens jogger Karina Vetrano in 2016.
Lewis, 22, is accused of killing 30-year-old Vetrano while she was jogging in Spring Creek Park near her family’s home in Howard Beach.
If found guilty, Lewis faces up to life in prison.
The NYPD tape is more than 45 minutes long, with more than 30 minutes the prosecution said was Lewis’ confession. on Tuesday, the jury has also asked for cell tower maps, 74 pages of DNA expert testimony, a DNA chart, autopsy photos showing all of Vetrano’s injuries and a map Lewis made during his confession.
The prosecution and defense teams made their final case to jurors Monday. Previously the jury asked to see several pieces of evidence including a photo of Vetrano’s neck injuries, a DNA report, Lewis’ phone web searches and Vetrano’s and Lewis’ phone records.
The case has gone on for nearly two years and two weeks of graphic testimony, with both Vetrano’s parents sitting in the courtroom during the trial. On Monday, about three dozen of her family members and friends walked into the building, followed by Lewis’s mother.
Lewis’ defense team claimed the crime scene was not properly preserved and suggesting evidence may have been inadvertently tainted. The defense also said the detectives rushed to judgment and Lewis only confessed because he wanted to go home after waiting hours in an interrogation room.
Last week, there were gasps in the courtroom as Lewis’s legal aid attorney rested their case after calling just one witness. Investigator Jennifer Burke testified for less than 10 minutes and answered a handful of questions about visiting the crime scene.
The most damaging evidence is a videotaped confession from Lewis himself, who told police he was upset with a neighbor when he went to Spring Creek Park, came across Vetrano and “just lost it.”
“This girl jogging… And you know, one thing led to another,” he told investigators. “Hitting her and stuff like that.”
His lawyer has argued the confession was coerced during a six-hour interrogation in isolation.
Prosecutors presented evidence linking Lewis to DNA found on Vetrano’s neck, fingernails and phone.
Jurors also heard from Vetrano’s father, who described when he discovered his daughter’s badly beaten body that had been sexually abused.