Rochester (WSYR-TV/WROC) – A New Hartford man accused of murdering his girlfriend in her SUNY Brockport dorm room appeared in court on Friday.
Clayton Whittemore was arrested in connection to the death of Alexandra Kogut in September 2012.
He has been indicted on a charge of second degree murder and, according to documents, already admitted to a Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy that he killed the 18-year-old girl.
According to WROC, Whittemore’s defense is arguing that he was arrested without probable cause. If they can prove it, everything that happened after his arrest, including alleged admissions he committed the murder, could be thrown out by a judge.
Whittemore drove to a rest stop in DeWitt after the alleged murder.
A 911 dispatcher testified Whittemore's father called several times that night, saying his son told him he killed someone and wanted to kill himself. The dispatcher testified that Whittemore also called, saying he wanted to turn himself in at the rest stop.
New York State Trooper Paul Murray was then dispatched. The defense is arguing Trooper Murray didn't have a reason to arrest Whittemore because he was sent to the rest stop on a call for a suicidal male.
"They gathered a lot of evidence after the arrest but I heard trooper Murray say he really didn't have a clear idea of why he arrested Clayton Whittemore when he did," said Defense Attorney Mark Curley.
The prosecution argues Murray had probable cause because he was told Whittemore may have been involved in a murder and he testified that he observed blood on Whittemore's clothes and shoes.
"Trooper Murray's testimony I believe was clear. The information he possessed when he came to the DeWitt Road service area he knew that there was a homicide that had occurred at SUNY Brockport. At least at that time there was one dead and possibly another that the defendant admitted that he had committed a homicide," said District Attorney Sandra Doorley.
Both sides will review Friday's testimony and decide what evidence they want to ask the judge to dismiss. They're due back in court on July 19.