Opening statements Wednesday in trial for man charged in death of girlfriend at The College at Brockport

Updated: 05/14/2014 5:33 PM
Created: 05/14/2014 7:35 AM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

A full jury has been seated in the trial surrounding the murder of a College at Brockport student. Opening statements were completed Wednesday in the trial of Clayton Whittemore. He’s accused of beating his girlfriend, Alexandra Kogut, to death in her dorm room in the fall of 2012.

Emotions ran high in the courtroom Wednesday as the prosecution and defense gave their opening statements. As soon as Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley began describing the 911 call the night of Alexandra Kogut’s death, Kogut’s mother left the courtroom weeping.

Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney, said, “This is every parent’s nightmare. She was a beautiful 18-year-old college student who had her whole life ahead of her and she goes off to college and she's not there four weeks and this happens to her.”

“A brutal murder” was the exact words used from both the prosecution and the defense. The murder trial for Clayton Whittemore kicked off with the prosecution taking the stand first, addressing a jury made up mostly of men. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley began by describing what happened on September 29, 2012, the night Alexandra Kogut was murdered. She says Whittemore was visiting Kogut at the College of Brockport, where she was a freshman. Doorley says they went to a party that night, had a little to drink and got into a fight. That led to what the defense says was “an uncontrollable outburst of anger”, saying Whittemore was under the influence of an “extreme emotional disturbance.” The district attorney says this was a brutal and senseless crime and she says Whittemore needs to be held accountable.

Doorley said, “He used his fists multiple times. He strangled her. He used a travel mug that ended up breaking in parts, an Old Spice can that was dented and broken apart; pencils and pens, pieces of a pencil and pen was located by the medical examiner during the autopsy.”

At one point, the district attorney said Kogut was beaten so badly she was unrecognizable. The defense says Whittemore suffered from severe abuse from his father during his childhood. 

Clayton Whittemore
Alexandra Kogut

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