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Convicted killer of Howard Beach, NY jogger sentenced to life without parole in her August 2016 sexual assault, murder

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 4/23/2019 Mikey Light, Larry Mcshane
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Video by ABC News

The man convicted of sexually assaulting and brutally killing a Howard Beach jogger was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without parole.

The sentencing of Chanel Lewis, 22, follows a contentious week where last Wednesday’s scheduled hearing or the defendant was postponed by a 11th-hour legal battle over alleged juror misconduct.

“I’m innocent,” he insisted Tuesday morning in a Queens courtroom. “I’m sorry for the family’s loss, but I didn’t do this.”

Defense attorneys, citing one juror’s claim that another panel member was convinced of Lewis’s guilt before deliberations began and two other jurors wrongfully influenced the panel during deliberations, sought unsuccessfully to overturn the defendant’s convictions for murder and sexual assault.

Judge Michael Aloise denied the defense motion at a Monday hearing. Lewis was convicted on April 1 in his second trial for the death of the 30-year-old jogger, with the jury needing just five hours to return its verdict. His first trial ended in a hung jury this past November.

Karina Vetrano was killed while running through Spring Hill Park, just a short distance from her Queens home. Her father Phil was with police officers when his daughter’s body was discovered in a stretch of towering weeds.

Cops said the victim was sexually assaulted and savagely beaten, and prosecutors said Lewis’ DNA was found on the victim’s body. Jurors also saw the defendant’s videotaped confession to police, made 11 hours after he was taken into custody.

Karina Vetrano © Provided by FoxNews.com Karina Vetrano

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