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Alexandra Kogut Murder: Clayton Whittemore, man accused in NY college student's beating death, formally charged

Clayton Whittemore Monroe County Sheriff's Office

(CBS/AP) ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York college student has been formally charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of his girlfriend inside her dorm room last month.

PICTURES: NY college student found dead in dorm room

The Monroe County District Attorney's office says a grand jury indicted 21-year-old Clayton Whittemore on Tuesday.

Whittemore has been held without bail since shortly after the body of 18-year-old freshman Alexandra Kogut was found Sept. 29 at the State University of New York College at Brockport, near Rochester.

According to a police report, the Utica College student said he and Kogut got into a shoving match while arguing over "stupid stuff" in her room. The report says he told the officer when her breathing sounded bad he hit her with a curling iron because he loved her and didn't want her to suffer.

The same day Kogut's body was found, Whittemore was arrested at a Thruway rest area about 100 miles away. Both students are from New Hartford in central New York.

Whittemore pleaded not guilty during an initial court appearance in Sweden Town Court.

Complete coverage of Alexandra Kogut on Crimesider