You are reading

More Than 40,000 People Sign Petition Calling On DA Katz to Reopen the Case Against Chanel Lewis

Chanel Lewis (via petition)

July 14, 2021 By Allie Griffin

More than 40,000 people have signed a petition calling on Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz to reopen a case in which a Black man was convicted for the murder of a woman in Howard Beach.

The petition-signers believe that Chanel Lewis who was found guilty of the 2016 murder and sexual assault of 30-year-old Karina Vetrano was wrongfully convicted and is in fact innocent.

Supporters of Lewis and advocates from local nonprofits marched to the Queens District Attorney’s Office Tuesday and delivered the petition, which demands that the newly-formed Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) open an investigation into Lewis’ case.

“Katz has previously indicated that her office would ‘look at’ the case and ‘see how the conviction integrity unit feels about it’…,” the petition states. “While Melinda Katz’s office takes the time to determine how they ‘feel’ about evaluating whether they may have convicted the wrong person and violated Chanel Lewis’ legal rights, Lewis is suffering.”

They want Lewis, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole, to be released on bail during such an investigation.

Tiffany Cabán, a former candidate for Queens district attorney, attended the protest in support of Lewis Tuesday.

“For the first time the Queens DA’s Office has a CIU but that means nothing if the bounds of that unit uphold a system that provides cover for bad actors,” Cabán said at the protest.

A jury found Lewis, who was 22 at the time, guilty of the murder of Vetrano in 2019 during a second trial after his first trial ended in a hung jury.

Karina Vetrano (Facebook)

Vetrano was attacked, sexually assaulted and strangled to death as she went on a jog through a park near her home in Howard Beach on Aug. 2, 2016.

Prosecutors in the case said DNA evidence found on Vetrano’s body matched that of Lewis, but the defense said the DNA was improperly collected.

Supporters say that Lewis is not the killer. They believe his case was mishandled by the prosecution and have accused the NYPD of racial profiling.

Lewis — whom the petition describes as “intellectually disabled” — originally confessed to the crime before pleading not guilty in court. His supporters say his confession was coerced by police.

A spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney’s Office declined to comment about the case at this time.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
Mikhail McGutcheon

Confession + DNA = guilty. he frequented the area and was spotted close to scene of crime on day jogger was murdered. He left his house that day in a rage and found an outlet for that rage by killing this woman on a secluded trail. I can go to any area of NYC with a petition to declare the world flat and will garner hundreds of signatures.

Just the facts ma'am

1. Chanel Lewis is recorded on a NYC hotline asking for help because he urges and was afraid “he was gonna do something violent to women”; 2. The victim is savagely beaten, sexually assaulted and strangled…Chanel Lewis’ DNA is found on her throat where she is strangled, on her back, and on her cellphone found at the scene; 3. The next day Chanel Lewis’ father must take him to the emergency room for an injury to his wrist that is identical to a boxer’s injury…an injury you would receive if you savagely beat someone; 4. he is documented to have frequented the park due to a past NYC summons he received earlier that year; 5. he is brought in by police for questioning and confesses to the crime on video tape, with his confession perfectly matching all the physical evidence found at the crime scene and matches the physical injuries and trauma suffered by the victim…this is a textbook open and shut case…will the phony woke progressives please stop engaging in racism against Italians…your blind hatred of others because you politically disagree with them does not supersede the law… your Marxist lynch mob outrage tactics are getting old and stale…maybe try supporting the Cuban people on their fight for freedom instead…much better placed activism

Mafia coverup

I never believed that he did it. I think it’s a Howard Beach Mafia Coverup.
The Father is suspicious guy.

This isn't Netflix

That theory makes absolutely no sense. He confessed to the attack, his parents brought him to the doctor for wounds related to the attack, and his parents destroyed evidence by getting rid of what he was wearing that day. This kid should never see the light of day again.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Queens Public Library celebrates Black History Month with nearly 150 programs highlighting Black resistance, culture

Feb. 2, 2023 By Carlotta Mohamed

Throughout February, Queens Public Library will celebrate “Black Resistance” — the theme of its 2023 Black History Month observance — with nearly 150 comprehensive programs and initiatives, including theater performances, author talks and art workshops for all ages, spotlighting various aspects of Black heritage, culture and resilience. 

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime.