On Monday, an Ohio judge ordered a convicted sex offender to death after he was found guilty last week of the brutal 2017 kidnapping, rape, and torture of a teen girl.
Cincinnati.com reports that 45-year-old Christopher Whitaker was sentenced to die after a Cleveland jury found him guilty of kidnapping 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze after luring her from a bus stop in January 2017. He then took her to an abandoned house and raped and tortured her, before killing her and disposing of her body.
— Julia Tullos (@JTullosCBS19) March 26, 2018
During Monday’s hearing, Alianna’s family faced the convict for the time and shared their outrage toward him, while explaining the physical and emotional toll his actions placed on them. For instance, Alianna’s stepmother, Watonya DeFreeze, developed congestive heart failure after the girl’s death. Donnesha Cooper, the girl’s mother, said she no longer had to will to work after her daughter was killed.
“He just snuffed out a really bright light in the world because of his own selfishness,” Cooper said on Monday after Whitaker’s sentencing. “I appreciate the jury’s recommendation, but that’s too good for him.”
Alianna’s grandmother also spoke at the sentencing, and said she could “see the evil that’s in him,” while the victim’s father, Damon DeFreeze, who explained that he always talked to Alianna about avoiding strangers, couldn’t contain frustration while facing Whitaker.
“Excuse me so I can look at this b**** a** dude, ‘ DeFreeze said. “It takes a real monster to take a child who’s going on the way happily to school. It happens too often.”
The victim’s family pushed for life without parole for Whitaker, so that he could spend years living with what he did. Yet, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Carolyn Friedland ultimately decided on death for Whitaker, as well as an additional 48 years for aggravated burglary, felonious assault, rape, gross abuse of a corpse, and obstruction of justice.
Alianna DeFreeze: What You Need to Know
On January 26, 2017, as Alianna waited for a bus to pick her up at the RTA bus stop close to Kinsman Road and East 93rd Street, Whitaker approached her and somehow convinced the girl to go with him to a vacant house off of Fuller Avenue. When she didn’t arrive to school that day, Cooper contacted police. Three days later, authorities found her lifeless body inside the vacant home.
According to court records, Whitaker raped the girl, beat her and tortured her while using an electric drill to inflict gruesome injuries her. He then stabbed Alianna to death and left the scene. DNA collected during investigations matched to Whitaker.
When authorities arrested Whitaker, he admitted to the crime and said he was a drug addict and that crack cocaine made him do it. He claimed later he was remorseful for his actions, but it wasn’t the first time he’d been tied to brutal crimes. He previously served four years for the 2005 rape and beating of another victim, according to ABC5.
Friedman, however, didn’t buy that Whitaker had any remorse for his actions. The judge said that going by a previous statement made by Whitaker, it was clear he was more worried about media coverage and what his family would think of his atrocious crimes.
“The remorse he felt was basically for himself,” Friedland said.
[Feature Photo: Alianna DeFreeze/Handout]