NEW YORK – The man who police believe murdered a female jogger last summer told police he did it because he was angry.
“I was angry. I had some issues at home. I just lost it. When I saw her, I just hit her and kept hitting her. I hit her and choked her,” said Chanel Lewis, according to police sources who shared the information with the New York Post.
Lewis, 20, was charged for second-degree murder on Sunday.
Authorities said Karina Vetrano, 30, was jogging last August in Spring Creek Park in Queens when the attack happened. Police said Karina was also raped.
During the attack, detectives said Karina put up a desperate fight against her attacker, which helped lead police to the suspect.
“She had the DNA under her nails. She had touch DNA on her back, and there was more DNA on the cellphone,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.
According to NBC New York, detectives developed a profile of Lewis in the last 10 days.
Detectives also said Lewis made incriminating statements to them in describing details of the attack.
At Lewis’ court arraignment, Karina’s mother, Cathie Vetrano, shouted at the suspect.
“A savage murder! He fucking murdered my daughter, my beautiful innocent daughter! Now your nightmare begins!” she said. “He’s a demon! He should be in hell and burn in hell!”
Karina’s mother also told reporters, “We’re glad he’s off the streets so he could never kill anyone else’s daughter. The demon must get his justice, and we will see to it.
According to investigators, Lewis was unemployed and lived with his mother.
He had no criminal history, but was summoned for public urination and violating park rules in the park where the attack happened.
His father described Lewis as a “humble kid” and good student.