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CNY

DA: Whittemore struck girlfriend with iron, travel mug, fists

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The jury in the trial of a New Hartford man accused of killing his girlfriend in her SUNY Brockport dorm room heard from the defendant himself -- on videotape.

Jurors watched a taped interview Clayton Whittemore gave to police investigators shortly after Alexandra Kogut was found dead in her room in 2012. In that interview, Whittemore describes fighting with Kogut, telling investigators he felt disrespected.

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley said Whittemore beat Kogut with his fists, a travel mug and an iron. The jury saw photographs of the evidence collected in her dorm room from that night.

Whittemore told investigators he doesn't remember how many times he hit Kogut. His attorneys say their client was experiencing an extreme emotional disturbance and snapped.

Doorley said the videotape is "very compelling."

"This is just hours after the alleged murder and it's very important for the jury to hear what he did in his own words and to actually see his demeanor and his expressions and how he's telling investigators what he did in that dorm room," she said.

Asked whether Whittemore's comment that he "just snapped" helps the defense, Doorley said "a snap can mean a lot of things."

"A snap can mean rage. A snap can mean anger," she said. "I think it's the facts that are going to tell us what the snap was in this case and I believe we're going to laying the foundation for that argument."

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