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'I want this man to experience hell on earth,' says Alianna DeFreeze's father about her killer

Posted at 12:33 PM, Feb 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-23 12:33:03-05

After a jury handed down a death penalty recommendation for convicted killer Christopher Whitaker on Friday, the father of 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze said he hoped for a different outcome.

"I prefer him to sit there forever," Damon DeFreeze said.

Whitaker was found guilty earlier this week by a jury of his peers. He now faces a seat on death row for the rape and murder of Alianna in January 2017.

Last year the girl's disappearance set off a city-wide search. She was later found dead in an abandoned house on the 9400 block of Fuller Avenue in Cleveland.

Whitaker was arrested a short time later.

DeFreeze said he wanted Whitaker to sit in prison for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole.

"I want this man to experience hell on earth before he experiences hell in the afterlife," DeFreeze said.

DeFreeze said In the year since Alianna's death he has focused on his daughter's legacy — the Alianna DeFreeze Make A Change Foundation.

The foundation's goal is getting children to school safely and demolishing derelict homes that sexual predators can use to commit sexual crimes within. 

"The verdict doesn't change anything. The pain doesn't lessen. It stays right here," DeFreeze said. "We have to stay focused on our mission of providing transportation to these children."

DeFreeze made a call for action, telling the media that every missing child needs to be addressed.

"Some of them are runaways, but we need to treat them as abductions because it is important," he said.