Slain jogger’s family sobs seeing contested confession tape

NEW YORK — The family of a woman found dead after she vanished while jogging watched in tears as lawyers played a videotaped confession of the man accused of killing her.

Chanel Lewis has been charged with murder in the 2016 death of Karina Vetrano. He has pleaded not guilty, and his attorneys say his confession was wrongly obtained and should not be admissible in his upcoming trial. The video was played in court Monday.

Lewis says he grabbed the 30-year-old who ran past him in on a secluded section of a marshland park in Queens. He says he beat and strangled her, but he did not molest her. The body had been found with her clothing in disarray leading investigators to suspect she’d also been sexually assaulted.

“I lost it,” Lewis told an NYPD detective in one of the three taped confessions, reports AMNY. He reportedly told police he was angry that day because his family had men visiting the house who were making a lot of noise.

Lewis reportedly said Vetrano fought back as he beat her and choked her, scratching him on the right side of his face. He said he then grabbed the apparently dead woman by the arms and dragged her into the weeds off the trail.

Vetrano’s mother Catherine Vetrano sobbed in court and grasped a crucifix that had been placed on her daughter’s casket, the paper reports.

After the hearing, her father Philip Vetrano told the paper he had “a lot of anger.”

“We knew the particulars, but hearing it and seeing it . . . it was extremely difficult,” he told AMNY. “It was bad. It was bad.”

A judge will decide whether the footage can be used.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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