Clayton Whittemore

Defense: Police did not have probable cause for arrest in New York dorm room murder

Attorneys for Clayton Whittemore, 21, who is accused of killing his girlfriend in her dorm room at SUNY Brockport last year, filed a series of defense motions this week arguing that police did not have probable cause to immediately arrest him and unlawfully searched his car in violation of the 4th Amendment.

Authorities say that Whittemore admitted killing 18-year-old Alexandra Kogut when he lost control during an argument and beat her to death. Whittemore is charged with second degree murder in Kogut’s death.

The motions allege that authorities did not have probable cause at the time of the arrest and also did not have either a warrant or Whittemore’s consent to search his vehicle. Defense attorneys say that police radio transmissions “conclusively establish” that the police did not have probable cause when they made the initial arrest.

“It is well-settled that probable cause cannot be based on evidence obtained after an unlawful arrest but must have existed in the first instance,” wrote defense attorney Mark Curley.

The next hearing in the case will be February 13 at Monroe County Court to discuss the admissibility of Whittemore’s alleged confession.

Kogut and Whittemore attended high school together in New Hartford in upstate New York. Whittemore has pleaded not guilty.

Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial

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