Clayton Whittemore's lawyers say they'll use an insanity defense at trial

Clayton Whittemore

The attorneys for a man charged in the beating death of his girlfriend in her New York college dorm room plan to base their defense on what they say was their client's "extreme emotional disturbance" at the time of the slaying.

Mark Curley and John Leonard tell the Observer-Dispatch of Utica that they've filed court documents alerting the Monroe County District Attorney's Office in Rochester that they'll likely present psychiatric evidence in the second-degree murder case of Clayton Whittemore.

The 21-year-old from New Hartford was charged in the September beating death of 19-year-old Alexandra Kogut, also of New Hartford.

Authorities say Whittemore told police he and Kogut got into a shoving match and he "just snapped" while they argued in her room at the State University at Brockport.

Whittemore has pleaded not guilty.