Closing arguments begin Monday for Queens jogger Karina Vetrano murder trial

Posted at 6:30 AM, Nov 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-19 06:30:49-05

Closing arguments begin Monday in the trial of Channel Lewis, the 22-year old man accused of sexually assaulting and murdering Queens jogger Karina Vetrano near her Howard Beach home in Aug. 2016.

Opening statements in the emotional trial began two-weeks ago, with prosecution and defense resting Thursday.

Several people took the stand, including Vetrano’s father who talked about his last conversation with his daughter, and the moment he saw her lifeless body.

Prosecutors say there is DNA, a video-taped confession and pictures on Lewis' cell-phone that proves he did it. They say Lewis even went to the doctor for a hand injury after Vetrano was killed.

Medical examiners ruled strangulation as the cause of her death.

Defense attorneys told jurors Lewis, who attended a school for students with learning disabilities, is innocent and was coerced into confessing. They say in the video-taped confession, he even appears to be confused.

Throughout the trial, Vetrano's mother often held a cross close to her chest while Lewis' mother held a bible.

State Supreme Court Judge Michael Aloise says he will hand the case over to the jury, following closing arguments Monday.