Jury selection begins for Alianna DeFreeze murder trial

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Jury selection in Cleveland is scheduled to begin on Friday for Christopher Whitaker.

Investigators say the 44-year-old is responsible for 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze's death.

Last January, they say he grabbed Alianna as she waited near East 93rd and Kinsman to catch an RTA bus to school.

Community comes together to talk solutions, safety after Alianna DeFreeze murder

They say Whitaker followed the girl, kidnapped her and then took her to an abandoned home where he raped and then brutally murdered her.

Four days later, officer  found her remains in an abandoned home on Fuller Avenue.

Whitaker was arrested three days later and charged with multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape, burglary, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse.

Alianna DeFreeze's family raises money to help kids with transportation to school

He is a convicted sex offender who served almost four years in prison.

Whitaker remains locked up with $3 million bond.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Alianna's father and stepmother did not want to be on camera.

They are focused on raising money for "The Alianna DeFreeze Let's Make A Change Foundation." and "Alianna Alert," Senate Bill 82, which would require schools to call parents within one hour of the start of the school day, if their child has been marked absent.

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