Man accused of killing girlfriend in Brockport dorm pleaded not guilty
Posted at: 10/25/2012 4:55 AM
| Updated at: 10/25/2012 6:11 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
The man accused of beating his girlfriend to death in her dorm room pleaded not guilty to second degree murder Thursday. Family members of both the victim and the suspect were in court.
In court documents, 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore told police he snapped and beat his girlfriend to death while he was visiting her for the weekend. Eighteen-year-old Alexandra Kogut, a freshman at Brockport, was found inside her dorm room last month.
Not only were both the parents of Kogut and Whittemore crying the whole time, but when Whittemore entered the courtroom, Kogut’s mother began sobbing uncontrollably and had to be held by family members. Pretty much the only person who wasn’t showing emotion was Whittemore. He had grown a beard since he was first arrested and he did not acknowledge his family or show any kind of emotion.
The murder of Alexandra Kogut has left her family, friends and classmates at the College at Brockport shocked and heartbroken.
Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney, said, "This is a tragedy that I can't even begin to imagine.”
And Monroe County District Attorney, Sandra Doorley, says she has a strong case against 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore. According to court paperwork, Whittemore admitted to killing Kogut. In the statements, Whittemore told a jail deputy, “She started pushing me and yelling at me. So I pushed her back against the wall to get her to stop. She wouldn’t stop pushing me, so I started punching her and just snapped. I kept hitting her over and over with my fists.”
Whittemore continued saying, “Her breathing sounded bad, like there was blood or something blocking her breathing. I didn't want the girl I loved to suffer so I started beating her with the curling iron until the noise stopped."
Whittemore told the deputy that he left the room knowing she was dead. Then he told the deputy, "I wasn’t even drunk, I just snapped.”
Doorley couldn’t comment much on the statements because they are evidence, but she says they speak to how brutal the murder was and Doorley says she plans on taking this to trial.
Doorley said, "In speaking with the family, at this point, I can say for certain there will not be a plea deal in this case. Mr. Whittemore was charged with one count of murder in the second degree. The sentence range, if convicted, on that charge would range anywhere from 15-to life to 25 to life. As I spoke briefly with the family, we are in a position now where we wouldn't offer anything less than the maximum of 25 to life."
Alex Kogut’s family was dressed in purple. Not only was it Alex’s favorite color, but it is also the color of domestic violence awareness. Her death has served as a wake up call for many on the dangers of abuse.
Doorley said, “This is a case where clearly this sets an example that no matter where you are, this can happen to you, you can be a victim of domestic violence. Surely she went away to college and she was excited about her boyfriend visiting her fro the weekend and it ends in tragedy.”
Whittemore’s lawyers chose not to speak on camera. They said they just received new paperwork on this case and need to review it more. They did release a statement. Click here to read that statement.
Whittemore is expected back in court on December 18.
The trial is scheduled for March 18, but Doorley says that will most likely be moved back. Whittemore is still being held without bail. His attorney chose to not request a bail to be set during Thursday’s hearing.