Students at SUNY Brockport react to statement from Brockport murder suspect
Posted at: 10/17/2012 11:02 PM
| Updated at: 10/17/2012 11:29 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
Court papers show the man accused of beating his girlfriend, Alexandra Kogut, a freshman at the College at Brockport, told police he punched her "over and over with my fists" and then with "a curling iron."
Students on campus had strong reactions to the words on the statement saying it is shocking and unbelievable. Nicholas Pankow said, "Honestly, it really makes me mad. I've got butterflies in my stomach. I don't know if I can talk about it anymore. I'm getting pretty upset about it."
Nicholas Pankow, Eric Hallimen and Kalika Dachtler are all juniors at the College of Brockport. None of them knew Alexandra Kogut personally, but they felt sad about her death. On Wednesday, these young men had strong emotions as they learned what a jail deputy says Clayton Whittemore told him.
Junior Eric Hallimen said, "It's just mind blowing to me, I don't get it. I can't see a person doing it... I've never seen evil like that."
These young men said this case illustrates the seriousness of domestic violence and that this was one of those senseless crimes. Junior Kalika Dachtler said, "Kids these days need to learn how to express themselves in a way without hurting other people or themselves."
Ally O'Malley is the co-executive director of Safe Journey, a program for victims of domestic violence and a survivor herself. She agrees with Dachtler and adds that young people have to learn to ask for help. O'Malley said, "The minute he had her up against a wall, he was at a choice point."
O'Malley said this crime is about control. In reading the statement, she said there were places where different choices could have been made. She said, "To say 'I just snapped' says she did something to provoke this from me. It doesn't matter what the argument was about."
O'Malley said there are so many lessons for others to learn here. She said, "What we have to do as women and what we have to do in society is we have to learn to trust. Many of us will stay in relationships longer than we know they're good for us, whether we're men or women. A bad relationship isn't going to turn, magically, into a good relationship."
According to the statement, Whittemore knew Kogut was dead when he left her dorm room and the deputy said Whittemore added that he was not drunk. Whittemore is charged with second-degree murder and is accused of intending to kill Kogut.
Apparently, this all started when the couple was walking back to her dorm room. Whittemore was issued a ticket for having an open container and according to the statement, that made him angry. O'Malley said sometimes in cases of domestic violence, something like this can just happen with no warning, but in most cases, there are signs along the way.