Whitaker kidnapped seventh-grade student Alianna DeFreeze from her school bus stop in January 2017, WJW-TV reports. The court said Whitaker then brought the victim to a vacant home before inflicting the "horrific crimes that support the imposition of the death penalty."
Surveillance video reportedly revealed Whitaker walking across a vacant lot toward Fuller Avenue, and three days later, DeFreeze’s body was found inside a home on the same street.
Authorities recovered bloody work tools and a bloody footprint and were able to perform DNA testing, the court said. The testing identified Whitaker as a suspect.