Clayton Whittemore, 21, pleaded not guilty to murdering SUNY Brockport student Alexandra Kogut back in October of last year. In November, the District Attorney's office filed notice of extreme emotional disturbance. Whittemore's attorney says this is not an insanity defense, but rather that his client was emotionally disturbed. Back in September, Whittemore told police that he "snapped" when he beat Kogut to death. The extreme emotional disturbance defense could potentially reduce the charge from murder to manslaughter if Whittemore is found guilty.
In court Wednesday, Whittemore's family sat in the back of the room, his mother crying and his father holding a bible. Alex Kogut's family was not there. Whittemore walked into court with his head down, clean-shaven with glasses. He did not show any emotion. Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley would not comment on the defense's strategy, but says Whittemore will be evaluated by doctors before his trial.
"He will be interviewed by his set of doctors and then we are going to have the opportunity to have an independent doctor review him and confer with their doctor or come up with a different opinion," Doorley said.
"My partner and myself are from the same community where Alex Kogut and Clayton Whittemore both lived and grew up. Certainly we know people and talk to a lot of people and no one can figure out what's happened. it's been a terrible thing for both families and the community as a whole," defense attorney Mark Curley said.
Whittemore's case is set to go to trial on September 30th.