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Jury box in the courtroom of the Old Monroe County Courthouse, Monroeville, Monroe County, Alabama, USA

Source: Panoramic Images / Getty


It took a jury less than six hours to reach a verdict in the trial of Christopher Whitaker, the man accused of killing 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze in January 2017.

We are not permitted to live stream in the courtroom today, but will keep you updated in a live blog here:

11:50 Judge reads the jury’s verdict. Christopher Whitaker is found guilty on all 10 charges of kidnapping, raping and killing 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze.

9:00 Jury members are deliberating.

2:15 Jury members are starting deliberations.

1:23 Closing arguments are concluded.

1:22: Santolli: this was a pre-planned, pre-meditated attack of Alianna

1:12 Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Andrew Santolli is making closing arguments to the jury members.

1:02 Mack: it’s worth noting that Mr. Whitaker avoided looking up at the screen at Alianna’s body, but at one point he looked up and he cried and tears of remorse rolled down his eyes.

12:54 Whitaker’s defense attorney Fernando Mack: we are not challenging the charges.

12:47 Jury members are watching surveillance video of Alianna on the RTA bus.

12:41 Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mahmoud Awadallah to the jury: look at Alianna’s defensive wounds

12:12 “He took her life. He took her innocence,” said Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mahmoud Awadallah to the jury.

12:11 Closing arguments begin.

12:10 Court is back in session.

10:48 Court is in recess until Noon.

10:47: The Defense does not have any witnesses.

10:46 The State rests its case.

10:39 Christopher Whitaker’s attorneys are cross-examining Cleveland Police Detective, Kathleen Carlin.

9:00 Court is back in session, Monday, February 12.

3:28 Court is adjourned for the day and will resume Monday, February 12.

3:20 Whitaker is arrested and taken into custody on videotape

3:12 Whitaker asks detectives if he can make a phone call to Deborah. He calls her and tells her he apologizes and that he loves her. He says that he didn’t do it and that the media has already convicted him.

2:50 Whitaker confesses to detectives that he’s sorry he did this and he shouldn’t have done this.

2:42 Whitaker asks detectives for some water. He tells them he “just wants to die right now.”

2:39 Whitaker agrees to let detectives take a DNA sample from him. They ask him about the clothes he was wearing the day Alianna DeFreeze disappears. He tells them he washed the clothes and that they’re over near 84th street.

2:34 Whitaker alleges he and Alianna had consensual sex. He tells detectives he “blacked out” and wondered what he had done

2:27 Whitaker is still sticking to the story of how he got high with two other guys at the abandoned home and that he didn’t touch the girl.

2:11 Christopher Whitaker tells detectives that he didn’t touch Alianna, he just masturbated.

2:06 Detectives are asking Christopher Whitaker where he usually gets his drugs from. He tells them around the way.

2:02 Christopher Whitaker is still telling detectives that he and two other guys got high in the abandoned house and that he had sex with Alianna but didn’t know how old she was. He says when he saw the news reports about her being missing and that she was “slow” he felt bad about participating.

2:00 Detective Carlin asks Whitaker what room of the house he had sex with Alianna. He tells her in the room with the carpet.

1:58 Detective Carlin is still on the witness stand walking jury members through the interrogation tapes. She says at that point Whitaker is still sticking to the story that he got “high” with some crackheads at the abandoned house where Alianna’s body was found.

1:55 Whitaker tells detectives if he could back to that day and change things he would.

1:52 “I’m a crackhead, I get high and do stupid sh** for money.” That’s what Christopher Whitaker told detectives in a taped interrogation where he confessed to killing Alianna DeFreeze. Jurors watched the tapes today in court.

1:48 Detective Carlin tells Whitaker to tell detectives what happened to Alianna DeFreeze. This is his opportunity to tell them what happened to Alianna because her family needs to know.

1:46 Detective Carlin asks Whitaker why and how his semen ended up inside Alianna DeFreeze if he didn’t know her.

1:35 Whitaker tells detectives he usually uses “Will’s Tools” when he’s out on jobs.

1:31 Detectives have been interrogating Whitaker for more than an hour. He is still telling detectives he only went into the basement of the house to remove the hot water heater and furnace out.

1:20 Whitaker tells Detective Carlin that he and another guy took the hot water heater and some metal out of the house a few days before Alianna DeFreeze went missing. Says he and someone named “Boogie” scrapped some metal from the house.

1:18 Whitaker is on videotape being interrogated by Cleveland Police detectives. He tells Detective Carlin he has seen the news reports about Alianna DeFreeze.

1:15 Court is back in session.

12:13 Court is in recess for lunch.

11:26 We see Christopher Whitaker on videotape being interrogated by Cleveland Police detectives on February 2, 2017. He tells detectives he was doing “drywall” work on some houses in the East 93rd Street and Kinsman Road area.

11:16 Court is back in session. Jury members are about to see videotapes of Christopher Whitaker talking with detectives the day he was brought in for questioning in Alianna DeFreeze’s disappearance.

11:01 Court is in recess for morning break.

10:58 Detective Carlin says once they identified Christopher Whitaker as a suspect, the Fugitive Task Force arrested him on February 2, 2017.

10:50 Detective Carlin is explaining the surveillance video of when Alianna DeFreeze came into contact with Christopher Whitaker the morning she went missing on January 26, 2017. She says Alianna is walking north and when she comes into Whitaker, she takes two steps backwards before continuing to walk past him.  He follows her and the two walk off camera.

10:45 Jury members are seeing surveillance video of a person of interest walking up and down the area of East 93rd Street and Kinsman Road. Detective Carlin says it is Christopher Whitaker.

10:44 Detective Carlin says detectives started compiling surveillance video from various businesses in order to find out Alianna’s movements the day she went missing.

10:34 Detectives went to Alianna’s mother’s house Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 to tell her that officers had recovered Alianna’s body. They didn’t want her to find out from the media.

10:24 Detective Carlin is explaining and talking through photos of the house to jury members.

10:17 Detective Carlin says it appeared the sexual assault occurred in the bedroom. Detectives found a training bra, ripped black sweater, black shoe and a ripped condom wrapper.

10:09 Detective Carlin says you could tell there was “violent trauma” in the home based off the blood stains and splatters from various places in the house.

10:02 Detective Carlin is describing the crime scene at the vacant home on Fuller Avenue. She says there were “smear stains” of blood throughout the house.

9:57 Detective Carlin says she observed bloody footprints in the vacant home on Fuller Avenue.

9:53 Detective Carlin says the home on Fuller Avenue was boarded up with no electricity. Officers had to bring in lights so they could see inside the vacant home.

9:50 Detective Carlin is describing Sunday, January, 29, 2017 to the jury members. That’s the day officers found Alianna DeFreeze’s body at the vacant home on Fuller Avenue.

9:32 The State calls Detective Kathleen Carlin to the witness stand. She has worked with Cleveland Police Department, Homicide Unit, for the last 12 years.

9:31 Court is in session for the day, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018

3:55 Court is adjourned for the day

3:30 Pastor David Brewton is on the witness stands. He talks about the day he encountered Christopher Whitaker in the East 93rd Street and Kinsman Road area and the work he did for him.

3:06 Court is in recess for afternoon break

2:34 Carey Baucher is on the stand now. She is a Forensic Scientist with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office

2:01 Oblock says that Christopher Whitaker DNA matched the DNA on Alianna DeFreeze’s body.

1:55 Oblock is talking about the swabs he took from Alianna DeFreeze.

1:40 Oblock is going through paperwork and talking about DNA analysis.

1:26 Forensic Scientist Jeffery Oblock from Cuyahoga County Regional Forensics department is on the witness stand. He specializes in DNA analysis.

1:24 Court is back in session.

12:34 Court is recess for lunch.

12:27 Dr. Dolinak is talking about how Alianna’s body started the “dying process” after she suffered so many injuries.

12:16 Dr. Dolinak says Alianna DeFreeze’s brain was swollen as a result of the injuries she suffered.

12:11 Dr. Dolinak says Alianna DeFreeze suffered some of her injuries as she was face down and hemorrhaging blood. He is showing the jury some photos.

11:59 Dr. David is talking about what he calls some of Alianna’s “defensive wounds.” He says these are injuries she suffered as she tried to protect herself.

11:42 Dr. David Dolinak is going through multiple photos of Alianna DeFreeze’s body and talking about her injuries. They are not publishing these photos to the jury.

11:36 Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mahmoud Awadallah shows jury members the box cutter prosecutors say Christopher Whitaker used to injure Alianna DeFreeze as Dr. David Dolinak talks about the pain she felt as the blade cut through her skin.

11:33 Court is back in session. Dr. David Dolinak says that some of the wounds Alianna DeFreeze suffered run into each other and that makes them difficult to count.

11:00am Court is recess in for morning break.

As Dr. Dolinak is showing jury members more graphic pictures of Alianna DeFreeze’s injuries, Christopher Whitaker is at times clenching his eyes shut.

Dr. Dolinak says the injuries caused Alianna DeFreeze a lot pain, as she was still alive.

Investigators said Christopher Whitaker used a corded electric drill, box cutter, screw driver and putty knife to kill Alianna DeFreeze. Her injuries show she suffered multiple puncture wounds in her head and torso that matched the shape of the hand tools. She also had multiple stab wounds to her neck and upper body. The coroner says many of these injuries were inflicted while Alianna was still alive.

Dr. Dolinak says that Alianna DeFreeze was alive when she suffered many of these injuries because she was bleeding.

As Dr. Dolinak shows the jury members the graphic photos of Alianna DeFreeze’s injuries, Christopher Whitaker is sitting with his head down, eyes averted from the screen.

Dr. Dolinak is showing jury members pictures of Alianna DeFreeze and explaining her injuries. The photos are very graphic, we will not broadcast or show any of them on our platforms.

Cuyahoga County Deputy Medical Examiner, Dr. David Dolinak is on the witness stand. He is talking about how Alianna DeFreeze died.

Court is back in session this morning Feb. 7, 2018.

Court is adjourned for the day.

Forensic Scientist Lisa Przepynszny is still on the stand and she’s comparing Christopher Whitaker’s boots to the boots worn by investigators who were on the scene at the vacant home January 29.

Forensic Scientist Lisa Przepyszny is talking about the techniques she used to gather samples from the tools found at the vacant home on Fuller Avenue. Electric drill, putty knife, screw driver and wrench. Prosecutors say these are some of the tools Christopher Whitaker used to kill Alianna DeFreeze while she was still alive.

Court is back in session. Forensic Scientist Lisa Przepyszny is on the witness stand. She testifies that Alianna DeFreeze’s body was brought to the lab “nude, except for socks.” She describes the samples of blood and fluid she took from Alianna’s body. They tested for DNA.



Article Courtesy of WOIO Cleveland 19 News

First Picture Courtesy of imaginima and Getty Images

Second Picture Courtesy of Panoramic Images and Getty Images

Video Courtesy of Facebook and WOIO Cleveland 19 News

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