NEW YORK — It was an emotional moment inside the courthouse with details never before revealed about the death of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano, including a statement from the accused killer allegedly apologizing to his own mother.
The father of accused killer Chanel Lewis walked into the courthouse with State Assemblyman Charles Barron.
Lewis's mother arrived separately and once inside the courthouse was shielded from the news cameras by friends, family members and supporters.
The family of the slain jogger emerged from a police van, also with family and supporters.
No family members spoke to reporters.
"It's a loss for two families," Rev. Kevin McCall, a National Action Network spokesman. told PIX11. "The Vetrano parents lost a daughter and the Lewis family has a child in the system," McCall added.
Prosecutors read aloud statements that suspect Lewis allegedly gave to detectives when being questioned about the Aug. 2 death of the 30-year-old jogger near her home in Howard Beach.
"I was mad and I was walking on the trail listening to music. She was running toward me and I just lost it. She didn’t do anything, I was just mad at that time. I beat her to let my emotions out. I never really meant to hurt her, it just happened."
According to the statement, Lewis fought with the jogger for about five minutes.
"She scratched his face, he hit her five times, breaking her teeth and knocking her out."
Lewis said he strangled her before she fell into a puddle face down and drowned.
There was no mention of a sexual assault. Lewis said in the statement that when he pulled her into the bushes, her pants came off.
Lewis concluded his statement to police by saying: "Tell my mom I am sorry."
After Lewis pleaded not guilty to the 13 count indictment charging murder and sexual abuse, his legal aid lawyers said it is now up to the Queens district attorney to turn over all evidence related to the prosecution of this case.
"Show us what the evidence is," McCall said.
Lewis was ordered held without bail and will be back in court July 13.