Prosecutor's Description of Lewis' Injuries Not Supported by Medical Record

By David Brand

A prosecutor’s description of medical records introduced in the trial of Chanel Lewis may not give a complete picture of him a day after the murder of Karina Vetrano, according to trial documents.

SUNY Downstate Hospital medical records show that a day after the murder, Lewis, the man accused of killing Vetrano on Aug. 2, 2016, received treatment for a hand injury. Throughout the trial, prosecutors have referenced the hand injury to bolster their case.

But, the same medical record disputes another assertion by assistant district attorneys: that Vetrano scratched Lewis in the face with her fingernails.

The District Attorney’s office has refused to release the medical record, though it was introduced into evidence. Judge Michael Aloise has left it up to the DA to determine what exhibits they share with reporters.

The Eagle and obtained a piece of the record, however.

After examining Lewis on Aug. 3, 2016, a resident at the Clarkson Avenue city hospital documented that Lewis injured his hand in a fall while jogging at around 8 p.m. the night before.

“Head atraumatic, neck supple. No other injury” besides a “single superficial laceration” to Lewis’ hand, the resident wrote.

The resident did not indicate a cut to the face.

The doctor, who did not meet with Lewis or examine his hand, called the wound a “classic boxer’s injury.” Prosecutors say the doctor’s speculation is consistent with blunt force trauma to Vetrano’s face as well as two chipped teeth.

In a videotaped confession the morning after his arrest in February 2017, Lewis told two detectives that he punched Vetrano.

The detectives questioned Lewis how many times he punched her, specifically asking if he punched her less than five times or “more than five times.”

“About five,” Lewis responded.

The defense team has argued that the confessions Lewis gave the morning after the arrest were coerced.