Ohio Supreme Court upholds death penalty for man guilty of raping, torturing, killing 14-year-old girl

Whitaker was convicted of kidnapping, raping, torturing and killing 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze
Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -19 News is learning more about the Ohio Supreme Court decision to keep the man who killed Alianna DeFreeze on death row.

Christopher Whitaker was sentenced to death in 2018 for kidnapping, raping and torturing the 14-year-old girl in a vacant home as she was on her way to school.

Whitaker appealed the sentence and asked the court for life in prison instead but he was denied.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Mike O’Malley and Assistant Prosecutor Mahmoud Awadallah, who tried the case, told 19 News that despite Whitaker’s attempts to get off death row, he is ‘right where he belongs.’

There are 130 people on death row in Ohio.

Christopher Whitaker’s execution has been scheduled for July 2026 but Ohio has not executed an inmate since 2018. The state has not yet found a replacement for lethal injection drugs.