Mother defends son accused in jogger’s murder

The mother of an East New York man charged with killing a Queens woman says her son "would not hurt anybody."



"I raised my son to be a God-fearing man and to respect life," says Veta Lewis, whose son, Chanel, has been charged with murder. "My son has mental health problems and needs help. He's not a criminal."



Police accuse 20-year-old Chanel Lewis of killing Karina Vetrano, 30, a Howard Beach woman who was sexually assaulted and killed during an evening jog near her home. As News 12 has reported, police say they found Lewis's DNA under the victim's fingernails, on her phone and elsewhere.



Police say Lewis lives with his mother and has received a number of summonses near the scene of the crime, although he has no prior criminal record.



Several community members, like activist Chris Banks, say they support the Lewis family.


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