Updated: 05/27/2014 5:14 PM
Created: 05/27/2014 7:05 AM WHEC.com
By: Jennifer Mobilia
He's accused of killing his girlfriend, a freshman at the College at Brockport, and for the first time we're hearing from his family.
News10NBC has been following this trial since the beginning and today the defense started to present its case. Lawyers for the defense are trying to prove Clayton Whittemore was abused as a child and that had an impact on him the night Alex Kogut was killed. Whittemore is accused of beating the 18 year old to death inside her dorm room in 2012.
Today the defense tried to prove Whittemore was extremely emotionally disturbed when he killed Kogut. The defense has maintained the abuse Whittemore suffered as a child at his father hands played a part in this murder.
**Editor’s note: Some of the testimony below is disturbing**
Clayton's older sister, Samantha, was the first witness to take the stand for the defense. She talked about how her father, Scott, abused her and her two younger brothers, testifying he would often “hit us, verbally abuse us.”
Whittemore's sister recalled the abuse started when she was as young as four years old. She told the jury it was her responsibility to make breakfast and if her dad didn't like the food, she testified her father “would beat us, yell at us.”
She went on to say if they didn’t finish their food, their father would pull them by their hair and force feed them, shoving food down their throats with utensils.
Samantha Whittemore went on to testify her father used baseball bats and hockey sticks to beat them. When asked about leaving, she testified her father said, “He would kill us, find my mom’s parents and kill them too.”
According to investigators, Whittemore sent Kogut a text message after allegedly killing her that said, "I’ve become my father."
Still no word at this time if Whittemore will take the stand in his own defense.