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Man sentenced for teen’s murder sentenced to death penalty

CLEVELAND – A registered sex offender convicted of raping and killing a 14-year-old Ohio girl has been sentenced to death.

A judge Monday followed the jury’s recommendation in sentencing the 45-year-old Christopher Whitaker. The judge could have opted for life in prison.

Whitaker was found guilty March 13 of aggravated murder and charges including kidnapping and rape in Alianna Change is death. Her body was found in an abandoned house in Cleveland in January 2017, three days after her mother reported her missing when she did not arrive at school.

The authorities say that Alianna was beaten and stabbed and the South Euclid man’s DNA matched evidence.

Whitaker told investigators he was high on cocaine and a black-out. His lawyer told the jury he was remorseful.

A message seeking comment with his attorney was not immediately returned.

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