QUEENS — Two trials and 2 ½ years later, the man convicted of killing a Queens jogger is set to be sentenced Wednesday.
Cheers erupted in the courtroom last month as a jury convicted 22-year-old Chanel Lewis of murder and sexual assault in the death of Karina Vetrano.
Vetrano, 30, was killed as she ran on a park trail in Howard Beach, Queens in August 2016. Prosecutors said Vetrano had been sexually abused. Her father discovered the body.
The case, however, has proven to be complicated as Lewis’ first trial ended in a hung jury in November.
The defense argued his two taped confessions were coerced and that not enough of his DNA was found in the crime scene.
The prosecutors, however, said the confessions came willingly and his DNA was found on Vetrano’s phone, nails and neck.
The closely watched case caused fear among women who run alone and baffled investigators, who for months were unable to find anyone who matched DNA that was found under the victim's fingernails as she fought back. Lewis was eventually tested and linked to DNA found at the scene and on the victim, according to police.
Despite that DNA evidence and a taped confession, the first trial ended in a hung jury in November.
Associated Press contributed to this report.