Cathie Vetrano testified for the first time Tuesday at the retrial of her daughter's accused killer, Chanel Lewis, after his first trial ended in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial in Nov. 2018.
The Howard Beach mom testified in Queens Supreme Court that the last time she saw her daughter alive was in her kitchen before the avid jogger went on her daily run. She said the next time she saw the St. John's University graduate was "in a funeral parlor, in a coffin," ABC New York station WABC-TV reported on Tuesday.
During cross-examination, a defense attorney referred to the victim as "Katrina," and Cathie Vetrano snapped back, "Excuse me, her name is Karina," WABC-TV reported.
Karina Vetrano was sexually assaulted and strangled to death on Aug. 2, 2016, while jogging alone in Howard Beach in the borough of Queens, on a path where she and her father often ran together. Six months later, Lewis, then 20, was arrested.
Lewis' DNA matched a sample from the crime scene, police said, and he allegedly confessed to authorities.
Nonetheless Lewis' attorneys with the Legal Aid Society believe their client was coerced into the confession.
"Chanel did not murder Karina. He did not sexually assault her either," defense attorney Jen Cheung said in opening statements Monday, according to WABC-TV. "You won't see Chanel's blood or body fluid, shoe prints or hair at the crime scene. You won't see his fingerprints at the crime scene either."
In Lewis' first trial, seven members of the jury wanted to convict while five jurors insisted the 22-year-old was not guilty.
Phil Vetrano also testified on Tuesday — the retired firefighter was a witness for the prosecutors in the previous trial.
"I let out a sound I never made before or since. A wail, a cry or screaming. 'My baby!' I said, 'I have to take her home, I have to take her home,’" said Phil Vetrano to the jurors. He's expected to continue testifying on Wednesday.
The trial is expected to last three weeks, prosecutors said.
If convicted with the top charges of first-degree murder, Lewis faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Queens District Attorney's Office said in a April 2017 press release.
ABC News' N.J. Burkett and Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.