ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- The jury has found Clayton Whittemore guilty of second degree murder.
He was accused of beating his girlfriend, Alexandra Kogut, to death inside her SUNY Brockport dorm room in September 2012.
Jurors received the case at about 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, and came to a decision around 10:30 a.m. on Friday.
"I was surprised actually that it was so quick, I thought they would take more time to go through the evidence. But I believe ultimately that when they worked through it, they would arrive at the right verdict," said Sandra Doorley, the district attorney.
Doorley said she felt a connection to Kogut and wanted to fight for her. When the jury's decision was read, tears were seen from both friends and family of Whittemore and Kogut.
Defense attorney Mark Curley said he was disappointed in the outcome.
The jury had the option of finding Whittemore sustained extreme emotional disturbance, and could have chosen a lesser sentence of manslaughter. However, their decision to find him guilty of seconde degree murder will result in a longer sentence.
Doorley said she plans to ask for the maximum when he is sentenced on July 15. He faces 15 years to life.
A statement from Brockport President John R. Halstead on the conviction of Clayton Whittemore:
“The College at Brockport community would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our University Police, the New York State Police, the Monroe County Sheriff's Department the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and everyone else who was involved in bringing Clayton Whittemore to justice. While today was an important step in bringing closure to our community, no verdict can bring back Alex Kogut or alleviate the grief of her family. We will continue our efforts to heighten awareness of relationship violence and hope to see the day when such horrific acts are no longer a part of society.”
How People Can Help:
Shortly after Alex's death, friends founded an organization that works to bring attention to dating violence among young adults.
For more information about the PurplePinkie Charitable Organization head to this link.