Jury Convicts Utica Man of 2nd Degree Murder in Dorm Room Slaying of Girlfriend
On Friday May 30, a twelve person jury, mostly men, found a Clayton Whittemore, 21, guilty of murder in the second-degree for the murder of his 18-year-old girlfriend Alexandra Kogut in her SUNY Brockport dorm room. The jury took only a few hours to reach a verdict.
For almost a year, the young romance of Whittemore and Kogut played out on Twitter in a series of affectionate, innocent Tweets. Their friends thought they were happy in their long-distance relationship. Their respective colleges were only three hours away from each other, and as soon as school started, Whittemore had planned to drive out to visit his girlfriend.
In early September she tweeted: “So excited for @Whittemore21 to come to Brockport Saturday and bring me half moons.” He responded “Not if I eat them all first yummm.” Kogut then responded “You better not eat my half moons or tomato pie!!!!”
The two had attended high school together in New Hartford, New York. Whittemore was the star hockey player, a role he also embraced at Utica College in New York. Kogut was also involved in high school athletics on the school swim team.
On August 23, just before the semester started, Kogut “favorited” a tweet by Whittemore that read “You might be leaving physically but you will still be right here in my heart.”
According to law enforcement and New York prosecutors, however, at some point this sweet college romance turned cold and deadly.
And then Kogut’s final Tweet – “should have known.”
According to reports, Whittemore told investigators that he just “snapped” after an argument. He confessed to police that after punching Kogut he hit her with a curling iron to end her suffering.
An hour after Kogut was found dead, Whittemore was arrested at a rest stop on the New York State Thruway, about 100 miles east of Brockport’s campus.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley is asking for the maximum penalty, which is 25 years to life behind bars. Judge Doyle has scheduled the sentencing for July 15.
RYAN KERNS, ESQ., Wild About Trial