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Christopher Whitaker is on trial for the killing of 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze, begins on Thursday. Whitaker is charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape, burglary, tampering with evidence, and gross abuse of a corpse after allegedly abducting DeFreeze, who was waiting for at a Cleveland bus stop on her way to school in January 2017.
Prosecutors claim that Whitaker took the teen from the bus stop to an abandoned house, where he raped and killed her. DeFreeze’s body was found four days later, and authorities say her body had evidence linking her death to Whitaker.
Tom Shaughnessy, Whitaker’s defense attorney, doesn’t deny the allegations against Whitaker, who faces the death penalty, but encouraged the jury to hear his side of the story.