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Prosecution rests in Clayton Whittemore trial

By Joleen Ferris

(WKTV) - The prosecution rested at 12:34 p.m. Thursday  in the murder trial of Clayton Whittemore of New Hartford. He's on trial for the murder of girlfriend Alexandra Kogut, also of New Hartford, in her SUNY Brockport dorm room in September 2012.

The defendant's friend, a woman named Renee, took the stand Thursday morning, ultimately acknowledging that, for a time, they were more than friends.  The woman acknowledged that her relationship with Whittemore turned intimate for a brief time around the time of the murder. She said she didn't think he was involved with Alexandra Kogut at the time.

The woman was at her cleaning job just after 1 a.m. Sept. 29, 2012, when she received an unexpected call from Whittemore.  He told her he "did something really bad".  The witness said she thought of the worst possible thing and asked, "What? Did you kill somebody?"  The witness said that Whittemore immediately said "no,"  but then said, "Yes, I did". 

She repeatedly asked him who and claims that eventually he whispered "Alex" under his breath.  She says his demeanor was calm and matter-of-fact, considering the magnitude of what he just claimed he had done.

When Renee left the witness stand, the judge warned courtroom observers, outside the jury's presence, that graphic testimony from the medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Alexandra Kogut was up next, along with graphic photographs.  

The medical examiner narrated photographs that revealed Kogut's injuries: stab wounds, puncture wounds, head lacerations, a broken nose and widespread bruising to her face. She also suffered internal brain injuries, which the medical examiner said were the result of, "a significant blow."

The prosecution wrapped up with a state prisoner on the witness stand.  The man had spent time with the defendant at the Monroe County Jail. He said that Whittemore told him that he became enraged because he had to go back to his hometown while Kogut was moving on with her life, so he grabbed an iron and started hitting her with it.

Court is in recess until Tuesday, at which time the defense will begin presenting their case. Their first witness will either be a psychiatrist or Clayton Whittemore's sister.

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