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Queens Chronicle

Vetrano judge tosses anonymous letter

Claimed cops looked only at blacks

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Posted: Monday, April 1, 2019 4:02 pm

Drama in the waning days of the Chanel Lewis-Karina Vetrano murder trial nearly derailed the case, just as closing arguments were set to begin Monday.

The judge in the case, State Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise, however, threw out of court an explosive letter from an anonymous source claiming police limited their search for the killer solely to black men.  

Late last week, defense lawyers for Lewis, the 22-year-old accused killer, received the three-page letter from an anonymous source alleging a police task force disregarded initial suspicions that the killers were two “jacked up white guys from Howard Beach.”

Instead, investigators took DNA samples from at least 360 black men during the six-month search for Vetrano’s killer before Lewis was arrested in early 2017, the letter said. It also included copies of a database search to back up the letter’s  claim.  

On Monday, Lewis’ lawyers said none of that information was given to them by prosecutors before the trial began, as required by law.

On the morning lawyers for both side were schedeuled to make closing arguements before the seven woman-five man jury, defense lawyers asked the judge to order a new hearing or declare a mistrial.

But with a single word from the judge, “denied,” the trial resumed.   

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