The accused killer of Howard Beach jogger Karina Vetrano and the dead woman’s parents exchanged stares in a Queens courtroom Thursday, a day after what would have been the victim’s 31st birthday.
While in Queens State Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak’s courtroom for a pretrial hearing, Chanel Lewis, 20, kept turning back to glance at Philip and Cathy Vetrano, Karina’s parents, who sat stone-faced in the public seating area with other family and friends. Philip Vetrano later said that he and his wife stared right back at Lewis.
“I don’t think it was malicious,” Philip Vetrano said of Lewis’s action. “ He just looked at us. He knows what he did.”
During the short court proceeding, a Legal Aid Society defense attorney said Lewis, who is accused of strangling and sexually assaulting Vetrano last Aug. 2, had been undergoing psychological evaluation that was expected to continue for a few more weeks. After defense experts prepare the evaluation, it will be shared with Queens prosecutors who will probably have their own experts examine Lewis.
Lewis, of East New York in Brooklyn, was arrested in February on charges he murdered Vetrano, an avid runner who had a master’s from St John’s University, as she jogged through Spring Creek Park near her…
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