Courtroom erupts in applause following verdict in NYC jogger murder

They buried their daughter and sat through a murder trial twice, but Monday night, Karina Vetrano's parents had their prayers answered, CBS New York reports. After less than five hours of deliberations, the jury delivered a guilty verdict on all counts, including first-degree murder and sexual assault. The courtroom, filled with Vetrano's family and friends, erupted in cheers and applause, while the family of convicted Chanel Lewis remained silent.
The thunderous reaction from the Vetrano side of the courtroom was unmistakable when the jurors delivered a guilty verdict on each of the four counts against Lewis. The 22-year-old was retried after the first court case ended in a hung jury.
Lewis is now a convicted murderer, found guilty of killing Vetrano while she was out for a jog near her Howard Beach home in 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City. Lewis didn't react to the verdict.
Vetrano's family and friends were elated to hear the news. Her parents, Kathy and Phillip, said a few words as they left the courtroom.
"Jubilation. Justice. Justice has been served," Phillip told reporters while leaving court.
The jury was made up of seven women and five men.
Lewis' sentencing is set for April 17. His attorneys, the Legal Aid Society, plan to appeal the verdict and called the outcome "a complete miscarriage of justice" and said "our client did not receive a fair trial." 
The Queens assistant district attorney showed Karina's last selfie, compared with her badly beaten body and highlighted DNA evidence, linking Lewis.
"Science determined that it was his profile on Karina's neck. Science determined that it was his profile on her phone. And science detected that it was his DNA under her fingernails," prosecutor Brad Leventhal said.
His defense, however, urged the jury to be skeptical, and said the forensic scientist's process was flawed.
"[Investigators] took no elimination samples from anyone, including people at the scene," defense attorney Robert Moeller said Monday. "You can see from the evidence things that could have been done weren't done."
The prosecutor showed that Lewis' phone was near the scene of the crime and replayed confessions.
The defense contended the confession was coerced and the statements didn't match up.
"He says he hit her five times with both hands," said Moeller. "Well, common sense tells you, based on the injuries that you see in those photographs, that she was beaten from head to toe and it was more than five or six punches to the face."
The argument came after an anonymous letter, allegedly written by an NYPD detective, was sent to the defense Friday, claiming prosecutors withheld vital evidence about the investigation. The letter said police were initially "looking for two jacked up white guys who are from Howard Beach" but only took DNA swabs from African American men.
On Monday, the judge denied a request from the defense asking for a hearing on the letter.

The NYPD said over the last two years it "already exhaustively examined the issues in this anonymous, 11th-hour letter, a missive riddled with falsehoods and inaccuracies."
Courtroom erupts in applause following verdict in NYC jogger murder Courtroom erupts in applause following verdict in NYC jogger murder Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 08:01 Rating: 5

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