a judge declared a mistrial Tuesday night in the middle of the trial of a man accused of beating and strangling a woman who was jogging in New York City more than two years ago.
Chanel Lewis, 22, was accused of killing 30-year-old Karina Vetrano as she ran on a park trail in Howard Beach, Queens, in August 2016. Prosecutors said Vetrano had been sexually abused and strangled. Her father discovered the body.
Authorities arrested Lewis in February 2017 after his DNA matched samples from the murder scene, officials said. He admitted to the murder in a taped confession, but Lewis' lawyers said he confessed under force.
Judge Michael Aloise in Queens granted a mistrial after the jury sent him a note saying it was split after just a day and a half of deliberations.
“It doesn’t seem like we can make progress. We feel that we have exhausted all of our options,” the jury wrote.
Lewis Defense attorney Robert Moeller said the case was based on circumstantial evidence. He argued that the crime scene was corrupted and that DNA evidence was suspect.
Prosecutors said they’ll move to retry Lewis, who is expected back in court on Jan. 20. He will be held in custody.
the suspect would face life in prison if convicted.