Alleged Karina Killer Remains on Rikers Island. Judge adjourns Chanel Lewis case to April 3

Alleged Karina Killer Remains on Rikers Island. Judge adjourns Chanel Lewis case to April 3

Photo Courtesy of Law Offices of Scott J. Limmer

Inside Queens Criminal Court this week, Hon. Stephanie Zaro adjourned the case of accused Karina Vetrano killer, Chanel Lewis, to an April date.

By Michael V. Cusenza

The accused killer of Karina Vetrano did not appear in court on Tuesday for a scheduled hearing and the case was adjourned until April 3.

Chanel Lewis, 20, has been on Rikers Island since his arraignment earlier this month, when he was charged with second-degree murder and remanded to Department of Correction custody.

The routine hearing, which was attended by Vetrano’s parents and Lewis’s father, was part of a wild week surrounding the sensational case. Supporters of Lewis set up two crowdfunding pages in an effort to help the accused and bolster his defense – but both were shuttered by the companies that host such online fundraising accounts.

GoFundMe and Fundly recently canceled both pages that had been organized in support of Lewis. According to New York Daily News report, GoFundMe said the page on its site violated the company’s terms of service, which do not allow for the raising of funds for “the defense or support of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity.” Fundly took down the account that was set up on its site after the page received a lot of complaints. Neither page had garnered a significant amount of donations.

The Karina Vetrano Memorial Reward Fund, hosted by GoFundMe, has raised more than $290,000.

Lewis has been charged with murder in the strangulation death of Vetrano as she jogged alone on a trail in Spring Creek Park near her Howard Beach home last August.

According to the charges, Vetrano, 30, was jogging alone in the park at approximately 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, when she was confronted by Lewis who attacked and strangled her. Vetrano’s body was discovered by her father later that day lying in a marshy area, approximately 15 feet from a trail near 161st Avenue and 78th Street in the notorious green space.

“This is truly a very sad case in which a beautiful and talented young woman senselessly lost her life.  Thanks, however, to the persistence of the hard-working detectives of the NYPD, assisted by members of my staff, the person allegedly responsible for her brutal murder finally has been brought to justice,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “I extend my deepest condolences to the Vetrano family, particularly Karina’s parents, Phil and Cathie, and thank them for their vigilance throughout this lengthy investigation and assure them that the law enforcement community will work tirelessly to ensure that justice is done in this case.”


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