Sentencing for New York City man convicted of killing jogger Karina Vetrano delayed

A hearing about alleged juror misconduct is scheduled for Monday.

April 17, 2019, 2:01 PM

A New York, judge postponed the sentencing for a man convicted in the August 2016 killing and sexual abuse of Karina Vetrano as she jogged near her home in Howard Beach, Queens, after the defense filed a motion claiming that one juror has accused three other jurors of misconduct.

Chanel Lewis was set to be sentenced on Wednesday after a jury found him guilty on all charges last month for the murder of 30-year-old Vetrano. A previous criminal trial last fall ended in a hung jury.

Lewis, 22, is facing a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for the top charge first-degree murder; he was also convicted of sex abuse and second-degree murder.

PHOTO: Defendant Chanel Lewis, right, is seated at the defense table at Supreme Court in the Queens Borough of New York, during the sixth day of his re-trial for the murder of Karina Vetrano, March 26, 2019.
Defendant Chanel Lewis, right, is seated at the defense table at Supreme Court in the Queens Borough of New York, during the sixth day of his re-trial for the murder of Karina Vetrano, March 26, 2019.
Charles Eckert/Newsday via AP, Pool

The court proceedings were adjourned until Monday after Lewis' attorneys with the Legal Aid Society filed a motion requesting a hearing to review an affidavit from one juror on the case, claiming that three fellow jurors disregarded the court's instructions on when and how to deliberate the case.

Assistant District Attorney Brad Leventhal said his team spoke to other jurors who denied there were any misconduct.

"The hearing should be held so the public can see its a clear and valid verdict," said Leventhal.

PHOTO: Phillip and Catherine Vetrano, parents of Karina Vetrano, arrive to court in New York, March 20, 2019.
Phillip and Catherine Vetrano, parents of Karina Vetrano, arrive to court in New York, March 20, 2019.
Seth Wenig/AP

In an exclusive interview with ABC affiliate WABC, the foreman Brian Morrissey said the evidence made "a slam dunk case." In a separate interview another juror, who spoke to reporters after the verdict under the condition of anonymity, said he felt pressured by the other jurors to convict.

Queens State Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise tentatively rescheduled sentencing for April 23, pending the outcome of Monday's hearing.

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