Guilty verdict in Cleveland teen’s murder case

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WYTV) – The man accused of brutally murdering a 14-year-old girl in Cleveland was found guilty by a Cuyahoga County jury.

WJW in Cleveland is reporting that Christopher Whitaker was found guilty on all 10 counts, including aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape, burglary and abuse of a corpse in the killing of Alianna DeFreeze. The sentencing phase will begin next Wednesday. That’s when jurors will decide whether to recommend the death penalty.

During six days of testimony, jurors saw an interrogation in which Whitaker repeatedly changed his story before eventually confessing to the murder, claiming he was high on crack cocaine at the time.

Whitaker, 45, is on trial on charges of kidnapping, rape and aggravated murder in the January 2017 slaying of DeFreeze. She went missing on her way to school on Cleveland’s east side. Her body was found by police in a vacant house on Fuller Avenue three days later.