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Cops: Man says he ‘snapped,’ beat girlfriend with curling iron

NEED TO KNOW
  • Man accused of beating girlfriend to death in her dorm room
  • Police say Clayton Whittemore, 21, says he "just snapped"
  • Alexandra Kogut, 18, died of blunt force trauma

Authorities say 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore—a New York college student accused of killing his girlfriend—told a sheriff’s deputy he “just snapped” and beat his girlfriend with his fists and a curling iron while visiting her at college last month, according to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office report.

University police found Alexandra Kogut—an 18-year-old communications major at The College at Brockport—dead in her dorm room on September 29. A medical examiner determined she died as a result of blunt force trauma.

Court documents state while Whittemore was in jail on suicide watch he asked to speak with a sheriff’s deputy so he could “clear his mind.” When the deputy asked what it was he wanted to talk about, Whittemore stated, “I killed my girlfriend,” the documents allege. 


Whittemore allegedly told authorities he was visiting Kogut at her campus that weekend when they decided to go to a friend’s house to have a drink. The sheriff’s report states Whittemore said Kogut “was being rude to him the entire time” they were at the house.

On the way back to Kogut’s dorm room, Whittemore told authorities he received an open container ticket, and that “made him angry,” the report stated.

Back at his girlfriend’s dorm room, they began to argue about “stupid stuff,” police said Whittemore told them. “She started pushing me and yelling at me,” Whittemore said, according to court documents. “So I pushed her back against the wall to get her to stop. She wouldn’t stop pushing me, so I started punching her and just snapped,” he allegedly told police.

Police said Whittemore told them he repeatedly hit Kogut with his fists, the documents allege. “He then told me he was trying to kill her,” the sheriff’s deputy wrote in the report.

“Her breathing sounded bad, like there was blood or something blocking her breathing,” authorities said Whittemore told them. “I didn’t want the girl I loved to suffer, so I started beating her with a curling iron until the noise stopped,” he said, according to the report. 

Authorities said Whittemore stated he knew Kogut was dead when he left the dorm room. “I wasn’t even drunk, I just snapped,” Whittemore told police, the documents state.

University Police found Kogut dead in her dorm room around 2:45 a.m. on September 29 after her mother called the school requesting a welfare check because her daughter wasn’t answering her cell phone.

Whittemore was arrested around 4 a.m. that morning at a rest area near Syracuse, approximately 110 miles from The College at Brockport campus. His father, Scott Whittemore, told HLN his son called him from the roadside that night and said he did something “really bad.”

“When I asked him what he did, he told me and I talked to him about turning himself in. My concern was for his safety. I was able to talk to him and I called 911. My son was cooperative and turned himself in,” Whittemore’s told HLN.

Whittemore’s attorney, John Leonard, told The Utica Observer-Dispatch that in regards to the sheriff’s report, “These are not facts—these are statements allegedly made by our client to some officer. We don’t know what stress he was under, how long he had been up, the circumstances under which they were made—if they were even made—or how accurate they are. These are not facts. Facts come out on the witness stand.”

HLN reached out to John Leonard for a comment but calls were not returned.

The Utica Observer-Dispatch reports Whittemore pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in Monroe County Court Thursday. He is currently being held without bail at the Monroe County Jail and is due back in court on December 18.

“As a mother of two daughters myself, I understand well the constant anxiety that a parent experiences when a child leave home for the first time. I can only image, however, the horror of having your worst fears realized in such a brutal fashion,” Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley told HLN. “Clayton Whittemore’s alleged actions took the life of a very special young woman, and while nothing I can do will bring Alexandra back to the many people who loved her, I can work to ensure that the cause of justice is served and that some measure of closure is given to her grieving family.”

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