The jury deliberated just five hours before reaching a verdict.
The courtroom packed with friends and relatives of Karina Vetrana erupted as Chanel Lewis was convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault in the vicious attack.
This was the second trial after a hung jury in November.
Vetrano's parents welcomed the verdict as they left the courtroom.
The jury deliberated well into the night after getting the case in the afternoon.
The defense criticized the verdict as well as the judge's decision not to send jurors home, issuing this statement: "This is a complete miscarriage of justice. Judge Aloise also kept jurors for well over 12 hours, an unprecedented action, to extract a verdict. Our client did not receive a fair trial.”
Lewis confessed to attacking Vetrano as she jogged in Spring Creek Park in August 2016.
Prosecution witnesses said traces of his DNA were found on her neck, her cellphone, and underneath her fingernails.
But in his closing argument, the defense attorney insisted there was reasonable doubt Lewis was guilty.
“They never allowed the evidence to develop - they just wanted the evidence to fit there, even if it wasn't quite right," said Robert Moeller.
He told jurors the defendant's genetic material could have ended up on the victim if they had touched the same surface in the park at separate times. He called the confessions coerced and the police work sloppy. And he emphasized there's no video of the defendant in park that day.
“You can see from the rest of the evidence things that could’ve been done, weren’t done that precluded down the road any further testing that could have yielded more information,” added Moeller.
The prosecutor reminded jurors Lewis confessed twice on videotape and he said a hand injury Lewis had was consistent with evidence that Vetrano put up a fight. He called the DNA match significant.
“376 billion times more probable that it's his DNA included in that mix under her fingernails and Karina's than some unknown, unrelated, unidentified person," said Brad Leventhal, Queens Assistant District Attorney.
Lewis faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced on April 17. The defense is promising to appeal.
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Defense attorneys are promising to appeal and in a statement called the decision "a complete miscarriage of justice."
They say Lewis did not receive a fair trial.