Karina Vetrano's accused murderer asked police to tell his mom he's sorry:Report
Two online defense crowdfunding efforts for Chanel Lewis were denied twice in February.
Update, April 18, 2017: Chanel Lewis, the man accused of killing Queens jogger Karina Vetrano, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court Tuesday after a grand jury indicted him on murder and sexual abuse charges.
Prosecutors read statements in court that Lewis, 20, made to police, including asking them to tell his mom he’s sorry, ABC7 reported.
Lewis, accused of brutally murdering 30-year-old Vetrano when she was jogging near her Howard Beach home in August, told NYPD detectives he “just lost it” even though Vetrano “didn’t do anything.”
"I was just mad at the time,” Lewis said, ABC7 reported. “I beat her to let my emotions out. I never really meant to hurt her, it just happened."
Lewis fought with Vetrano for five minutes, hitting her five times, breaking her teeth and knocking her out, according to the statements read in court. Vetrano scratched Lewis’ face, which he later told his mom he got from a fall.
According to the statements read in court, Lewis said he got "madder and madder and I strangled her" before fell into a puddle and drowned.
Lewis is being held without bail and is due back in court in July.
He faces up to life in prison without parole if convicted.
Supporters of Chanel Lewis, who has been charged with the murder of Queens jogger Karina Vetrano, were thwarted twice in their attempts to mount an online defense fund.
“We want justice for the Vetrano family, but also due process and fairness for Chanel,” Chris Banks, a community advocate and supporter of Lewis' family, told the New York Daily News.
Since Lewis’ arrest on Feb. 4, campaigns on Fundly and GoFundMe sites were removed, his supporters said at a press conference.
GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne told the Daily News the Lewis page violated their terms of service, specifically a ban on “the defense or support of anyone alleged to be involved in criminal activity.”
A consumer support worker confirmed to the Daily News that the page has been “temporarily” shut down after a deluge of complaints.
“They were passed on to our security team,” she said, the Daily News reported. “We’re still working on it.”
The $800 on Lewis’ GoFundMe page has been given back to the donors. The Fundly account remains suspended with $1,700 in limbo.
“He hasn't even been indicted yet,” Banks told the Daily News. “To have a fund to support the family is important. We want fairness across the board.”
Metro reached out to Fundly and is awaiting a response.
A page for the Vetrano family raised more than $290,000 to capture the killer. Since Lewis’ arrest, the family has asked supporters to help decide which charity should get the reward money.
Lewis' mental state is being questioned as part of the investigation, PIX11 reported. Martin De Porres High School, from which Lewis graduated in 2016, is a school whose students are described as“children experiencing emotional and behavioral problems.”
Lewis' father denies that his son has mental health issues, PIX11 reported.
George Zimmerman, who was acquitted for the murder of Trayvon Martin, raised more than $300,000 for his defense fund through Kickstarter.