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Jury deliberations begin in Christopher Whitaker case: Man accused of killing Alianna DeFreeze

Jury deliberates in Alianna DeFreeze case
Posted at 2:17 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 16:37:13-05

The jury is deliberating in the case against the man accused of raping and murdering 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze last year.

Jury deliberations began Monday afternoon. 

The defendant, 44-year-old Christopher Whitaker, is charged with kidnapping, rape, aggravated homicide and other charges. 

Whitaker admitted to killing the 14-year-old and his defense team isn't contesting the charges against him. 

But in interviews with detectives, Whitaker said he was high on crack cocaine, blacked out and then woke up to find what he had done. 

His defense say the fact that he was high out of his mind is a mitigating factor. 

But the prosecutor's office said none of it was random. 

They say Whitaker chose that specific abandoned house and chose Alianna, waiting for her at the corner of East 93rd Street and Fuller Avenue.

Alianna was reported missing on Jan. 26. She was last seen getting off an RTA bus she rode to school every day.

Several days later the teen's body was found in an abandoned home near the 9400 block of Fuller Avenue.

According to the medical examiner's office, the girl was beaten and stabbed to death. A positive identification had to be made from dental records.

Now, a year later, her family seeks justice but says, regardless of the trial's outcome, closure isn't something they expect to find.

"They say time heals all wounds. This is one that I don't think will be able to be healed," Damon said at the beginning of the trial.

Whitaker, who is a registered sex offender, was previously convicted in 2005 of sexually assaulting a woman at her apartment in Bedford Heights. He served four years in prison.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.