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Parents of murdered Cleveland girl, 14, receive $1 million settlement after sex offender raped and murdered her

Alianna DeFreeze was kidnapped while walking to school and then tortured, raped and murdered in Cleveland in January 2017. Her school did not call her parents after she failed to show up in the morning

Alianna DeFreeze was kidnapped while walking to school and then tortured, raped and murdered in Cleveland in January 2017. Her school did not call her parents after she failed to show up in the morning

The family of a Cleveland girl who was tortured, raped and murdered on her way to school five years ago by a registered sex offender has reportedly received a $1 million legal settlement after filing a lawsuit against the school and the city.

On Thursday, local outlet Fox 8 reported that their investigative team obtained data filed with the Cuyahoga County District Court asking a judge to approve a $1 million settlement in the wrongful death case filed after the murder. on 14-year-old Alianna DeFreeze.

“Despite the incredible opportunities presented to plaintiffs’ counsel, they were able to convince the settling defendants (who still claim they have no legal responsibility for Alianna’s death) to resolve this case before a total of of $1 million,” attorney Allen Boseman reportedly wrote in Thursday’s filing.

“This is a great settlement based on the facts and the current state of the law in the state of Ohio.”

Alianna’s parents filed for wrongful death in 2019, alleging that the then 14-year-old’s school had failed to notify the couple of her absence from class in January 2017, waiting more than 10 hours to tell them she was gone.

Damon DeFreeze and Donnesha Cooper claimed that they only found out that their daughter was absent from school after the school day ended, and as a result, they demanded compensation from the school and the city.  Fox 8 reported Thursday that a $1 million settlement had been reached

Damon DeFreeze and Donnesha Cooper claimed that they only found out that their daughter was absent from school after the school day ended, and as a result, they demanded compensation from the school and the city. Fox 8 reported Thursday that a $1 million settlement had been reached

The teen’s body was found three days later in a nearby abandoned house. Police determined she had been tortured for hours and then raped and murdered before dying.

In the suit, Donnesha Cooper and Damon DeFreeze claimed that they… only found out that their daughter was absent from school after the school day ended, and sought compensation for it.

“You know, you don’t know when this will hit you,” DeFreeze told Cleveland’s WOIO-TV last year of the grief he and his family have experienced in the four years since their daughter was taken from them.

‘I drive, it touches me. I just cry for no reason. You know, when I was at work, it hits you at work. You know, it’s just, it’s an infinite thing, but I’m still standing.’

Alianna was abducted on January 27, 2017, as she was walking to her charter school on the southeast side of town, after getting off a school bus around 6 a.m.

Police said the young girl, who her mother said had a developmental disability, was then spotted by 45-year-old Christopher Whitaker, a registered sex offender in the state of Ohio, who lured him away from the group.

Christopher Whitaker, 45, followed the 14-year-old after she got off her school bus and snatched her off the street.  The then-registered sex offender took her to an abandoned house, mutilated her and raped her before stabbing her to death.  He is now on death row

Christopher Whitaker, 45, followed the 14-year-old after she got off her school bus and snatched her off the street. The then-registered sex offender took her to an abandoned house, mutilated her and raped her before stabbing her to death. He is now on death row

The morning of the crime, Alianna failed to show up for classes, and staff members at E Prep & Village Prep Woodland Hills Breakthrough School who noted the teen’s absence chose not to notify the teen’s parents until after the end. of the school day, at 4 p.m. – a crucial part of the couple’s suit.

On the file, Cooper and DeFreeze argued that their daughter’s life could have been saved had they been told she was missing earlier in the day.

They argued that it was “completely” out of tune that the teen was missing school and that the school should have known that too when she failed to show up without any notice from either parent.

The lawsuit went on to allege that the school “completely and beyond doubt breached a critical duty to any parent to notify a missing child — not text messages, phone calls, emails, or any other form of communication.” reported People Magazine.

Alianna was found dead in this abandoned house three days after she went missing

Alianna was found dead in this abandoned house three days after she went missing

“Defendants have tried to cover up their fatal inaction by alleging that they… [Alianna’s mother] a message… to notify her of Alianna’s absence, but that the system was not working properly,” the lawsuit said.

Records show that each of Alianna’s parents would receive more than $245,000 from the recent verdict.

The CEO of Breakthrough Charter Schools, Alan Rosskamm said Thursday the school system agreed with the verdict but denied legal responsibility for the teen’s death.

All parties have reached a settlement agreement by mutual agreement. We hope this can help bring some measure of closure for everyone involved. However, our hearts will always go out to Alianna’s family and friends.’

Whittaker was tried and found guilty for the murder of Alianna in 2018 and sent to death row. However, his execution is still not scheduled – and in October the convicted murderer appealed the death penalty.

DeFreeze said of the phrase that he thinks “death is too certain, too soon” for his daughter’s killer.

“I have asked for life without parole from the beginning because death is too certain and too quick. You deserve to suffer and sit there and think about what you’ve done.’

But he says whatever happens to this case; it will not bring its daughter back.

“Anyway, the animal, the monsters of the street,” the father said.

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