Whittemore pleads not-guilty on murder charge in death of girlfriend

By WKTV News

The New Hartford man accused of beating his girlfriend to death in her college dorm room pleaded not-guilty Thursday morning.

Clayton Whittemore pleaded not-guilty in Monroe County Court Thursday on an indictment that charges him with second-degree murder.

Investigators say Whittemore beat 18 year old Alexandra Kogut of New Hartford, to death in her SUNY Brockport dorm room in September.

It was a very emotional scene in the courtroom on Thursday, with both the Kogut and Whittemore families present. As Whittemore was brought into the courtroom, both his mother and Alexandra's mother began to cry.

With new facial hair since his last court appearance, Whittemore did not make eye contact, standing in court and staring at the ground.

He is currently being held without bail in Monroe County Jail and if convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Whittemore's attorney, John Leonard, released the following statement:

"Some of the recent publicity surrounding this case has been very painful for the family and friends of Ms. Kogut and Mr. Whittemore. We don't want to add to that.

"We have only just now been given a good deal of material regarding statements taken from Mr. Whittemore subsequent to his arrest. We need to examine that and review it with him. Obviously, we cannot comment on any of that at this time. We recognize, and take very seriously, our obligation to Mr. Whittemore and to the court to make our case in the courtroom rather than in the media. We will respond to media inquiry as the case develops, but only to the extent appropriate and consistent with our effort to obtain the best possible outcome for our client. That will be it for now. Thank You."

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