Cousins! A man serving life in prison for the tragic death of a Queens, New York woman, is currently seeking to have his conviction overturned!
Within a previous mistrial four years ago, Chanel Lewis received a lifetime sentence for the murder and sexual assault of Howard Beach jogger Karina Veterano.
According to updated court documents obtained by the New York Post, Chanel’s legal team is currently arguing that he is a victim of unfair racial targeting tactics used by police and investigators.
New court filings accuse prosecutors of utilizing a previously banned laboratory located in Virginia, known as Parabon Labs. The lab was cleared for forensic use in New York only after the trial had ended, back in 2020.
Chanel’s lawyers Ronald Kuby and Rhidaya Trivedi state, that prosecutors failed to inform the rest of the court that they would be conducting DNA testing on hundreds of Black men. Pix 11 News, details that the process used to infer someone’s race based on DNA collected at a crime scene is called Phenotyping.
Within their discoveries, investigators noted that Karina’s murderer was either a European or Black male.
Detectives within the high-profile case are being accused of convicting Chanel based only on, “the DNA profile of the perpetrator generated from the crime scene belonging to a black man.”
The Civil Rights attorney says that prosecutors only zeroed in on Black men within this case. “They didn’t focus on Europeans. They focused exclusively on African Americans based on that profile.”
Ronald says that the banned laboratory findings ultimately led to a racial witch hunt of Black men in Queens, in the winter of 2017. He says that’s when a medical examiner determined that the DNA found on Karina’s neck (due to strangulation), under her fingernails ( as she fought the attacker), and on her cellphone found tossed into the weeds; belonged to Chanel.
In response, a spokesperson for the Queens District Attorney’s office says, “Chanel was not approached as part of a systematic effort by the NYPD to obtain samples or in connection with any work done by Parabon labs.”
Chanel’s mother says she speaks to her son everyday and believes that he is innocent. “I never lost hope or my faith. And I know that my son is innocent and has nothing to do with what happened to Miss Vetrano.”