Christopher Whitaker arraigned in court for Alianna DeFreeze murder

Posted at 8:39 AM, Feb 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-04 11:06:49-05

Christopher Whitaker is arraigned in court for the murder of Alianna DeFreeze.

Bond will be set for three million dollars. His next court appearance will be February 14.

Christopher Whitaker is charged with first-degree aggravated murder in the death of DeFreeze, 14, who was reported missing Jan. 26 after she failed to attend school at E. Prep.

Whitaker, 44, of South Euclid, was arrested Thursday about 7 p.m. at his home in Mayfield Heights at the Villa Serena Apartments, Chief Calvin Williams said during a late-night press conference. The U.S. Marshals assisted in the arrest of Whitaker. 

Evidence from the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office played a major role in arresting Whitaker, police said. 

Whitaker, a native of Fayetteville, Tenn., has a lengthy criminal record minor traffic and theft charges dating back to at least 1998. 

According to Cuyahoga County court documents, Whitaker kicked open the front door of his sister's apartment and stole a television set. The TV was valued at $500.00. Whitaker was identified by his sister and two nephews. 

But Whitaker's most serious crime was in 2005 when he was convicted of sexual battery and felonious assault against a woman in her Bedford Heights apartment.