Son of J'can immigrants jailed for life for sexually assaulting, murdering NY woman

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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NEW YORK, United States (CMC) — A New York judge has sentenced a 22-year-old Jamaican American youth to life imprisonment without parole after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting and murdering a woman in Queens three years ago.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Michael Aloise sentenced Chanel Lewis, whose parents are immigrants from Jamaica, for sexually assaulting and murdering Karina Vetrano near her home in the Howard Beach section of Queens in 2016.

Prosecutors said Vetrano, 30, was attacked while jogging at a park near her home.

In the second trial, Lewis was found guilty for the crimes. His first trial ended in a hung jury.

Before sentencing, Lewis – who graduated from a high school for students with learning disabilities, and lived in the East New York section of Brooklyn with his mother, a nursing home aide – told the court that he did not commit the crimes.

“I'm innocent. I'm sorry for the family's loss, but I didn't do this,” he said.

His mother, Veta Lewis, said that she believes her son is innocent.

“Chanel did not kill this lady. The judge tried to sentence him without compassion,” she said, adding “what he did today is not justice for Chanel.”

The New York Legal Aid Society, which defended Chanel, said it will appeal the sentence.

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