Gut-Wrenching Details of the Final Moments of Rape Victim’s Life
NEW YORK – November 6, 2018
Karina Vetrano was just 30 years old when she was brutally attacked, raped, and strangled in Queens, New York while on an after-work run on August 2, 2016.
Karina Vetrano’s mother Cathie clutched a cross and sobbed silently as the court was told how the man accused of murdering her daughter had “squeezed the life out of her.”
The court room filled with gasps as graphic images were shown to the jury of Karina lying dead on her stomach with her buttocks exposed, her jogging shorts pulled down around her thighs.
Family members huddled together, unable to look at the heartbreaking evidence being shown to the court, with one gasping, “Oh my God” before averting his eyes.
Chanel Lewis, now aged 22, was charged with sexually assaulting and strangling Karina as she ran on a secluded park trail in Howard Beach, Queens.
Addressing the courtroom, Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal described how the accused killer allegedly went about his attack.
Lewis is accused of groping and pulling at Karina’s clothing, tearing them during a violent struggle.
It is alleged that he then beat and strangled the young woman before dragging her limp body into the dense bushes where he dumped her and fled.
Mr Leventhal said, “He placed his hands around her neck and he squeezed and he squeezed.
“He strangled her until she was dead.”
He added: “She fought for her life. She tried to get away but he overpowered her.”
Cathie and Philip Vetrano have spoken openly about their grief following their daughter's murder.
Prosecutors claim Lewis had pictures of Karina and the crime scene on his phone as well as images of his hand injuries that were taken shortly after the incident.
At the hospital, the defendant allegedly told staff he hurt his hand while jogging in the park.
He was arrested six months later and prosecutors allege his DNA matched evidence found on the victim.
Lewis reportedly also made a videotaped confession in which he allegedly admitted to killing Karina because he was “mad at her,”
In the video, he allegedly also says he spotted her at random on the day of her death and snapped.
Despite these claims, Lewis plead not guilty to charges of second-degree murder and aggravated sexual abuse.
During the trial on Monday, the court was told how Karina was murdered while out on a solo run at 5 pm along a remote dirt path.
The young woman had dismissed her dad Philip’s warnings about being alone in the area and decided to go for a run alone.
Tragically, it was her dad who discovered her body in the underdeveloped marshy land just five and a half hours later.
It is reported that he screamed hysterically as he cradled his daughter’s lifeless body to his chest and wept.
The murder trial will continue tomorrow.