Defense rests in College at Brockport murder trial

Updated: 05/28/2014 6:50 PM
Created: 05/28/2014 11:48 AM WHEC.com
By: Jennifer Mobilia

For the first time since the trial began, the mother of a local college student who was murdered in her dorm room expressed her anger on Twitter Wednesday. Police say Alexandra Kogut was beaten to death by her boyfriend, Clayton Whittemore, inside her College at Brockport dorm room in 2012.

Alex Kogut’s mother, Becky Kogut, has not been in court, but it appears she's following the trial on Twitter, tweeting earlier Wednesday, “If there is such a thing, worst kind of murderer, never saw him coming. #whittemoretrial.” She also tweeted, “I have been a school nurse for 25 years. I have seen physical, sexual and mental abuse. Nobody grew up a murderer.”

In court, Dr. Rory Houghtalen, a forensic psychiatrist, continued his testimony. He told the jury the level of violence he saw in the crime scene photos are not the actions of someone who was just angry, rather someone suffering from extreme emotional disturbance.

The district attorney says otherwise.

Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney, said, “This was anger, not because of things he experienced as a child and a pattern.”

The defense rested after just two witnesses. 

Dr. R.P. Singh, a forensic physiatrist, was called as a rebuttal witness, testifying Whittemore was not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or extreme emotional disturbance when Alex Kogut was murdered.

Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney, said, " I believe this was a case of domestic violence spurred by anger and rage and it was important for Dr. Singh to explore his relationships with these other girlfriends, past girlfriends.”

Dr. Singh says he interviewed three of Whittemore's former girlfriends who all said Whittemore was physically and/or verbally aggressive with them. Whittemore's ex-girlfriend, Melinda, told jurors during a fight, he put her in a choke hold for about ten seconds. She said she couldn’t breathe and was scared he wouldn’t let go. 

Closing arguments could happen as early as Thursday. Then Whittemore's fate will be in the hands of the jury.  If he's convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison. 

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