A Queens judge has denied a motion for a mistrial in the murder case against 22-year-old Chanel Lewis, after a last-minute letter sent to Lewis’ defense attorneys alleged that cops conducted a “race-based dragnet” in their hunt for a suspect and prosecutors kept quiet about it. Lewis is currently on trial for the 2016 murder of 30-year-old Katrina Vetrano. Last week, his lawyers reportedly received an anonymous letter claiming that cops initially spent about two weeks searching for “two jacked up white guys from Howard Beach” before taking DNA samples from more than 360 black men. It’s not clear who sent the letter, or if the information it contains is true. The NYPD denied the claim, stating that “Multiple legal hearings and two criminal trials, over more than two years, have already exhaustively examined the issues in this anonymous, 11th-hour letter, a missive riddled with falsehoods and inaccuracies.” The district attorney called the letter an attempt to “derail the trial at the 11th hour.” Lewis’ attorneys have also previously claimed that Lewis’ confession was coerced.
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