Dad accused of 6-year-old son’s treadmill death found guilty of manslaughter

A US father accused of killing his 6-year-old son by forcing him to run on a treadmill at high speeds was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday local time – avoiding a manslaughter charge in a thrilling case from 2021.

Christopher Gregor, 31, of New Jersey, was also found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child for an incident caught on camera in which surveillance video showed him speeding up the treadmill Corey Micciolo was running on, causing the young man fell several times, NY Post reports.

The murderous father looked stone-faced as the tearful superior read out the guilty verdict, only slightly shaking his head.

His ex, Breanna Micciolo – who he tried to blame for little Corey’s death – burst into tears when she heard the news.

“We are pleased with the verdict and thank the prosecution,” an emotional Micciolo said outside the courthouse, the Asbury Park Press reported.

The jury reached its verdict after deliberating for five hours, during which time it rejected the charge of murder, which would have carried a sentence of 30 years to life in prison.

Gregor, a teacher, faces only 10 to 30 years in prison on the lesser charge. He will be sentenced on August 2.

According to his lawyers, Gregor expected to be found guilty of his son’s death, but maintains his innocence and plans to appeal the verdict.

“He was not surprised,” said defense attorney Mario Gallucci. “He knows this was just the first step in a long battle.”

The decision followed a grueling four-week trial in which jurors were shown surveillance footage of Gregor forcing Corey to run on a treadmill after the 6-year-old fell several times due to the speed of the treadmill.

Gregor was seen increasing the speed and grade of the track – and putting little Corey back on the racing machine right after he was released.

The boy was taken to a doctor a few days later, who admitted that his father made him run because he was “too fat”.

Corey was taken to hospital just 24 hours later after waking from sleep stumbling, slurring his speech, feeling nauseous and short of breath – but died of a seizure during a CT scan.

An initial autopsy revealed that Corey died of blunt force trauma with heart and liver contusions with acute inflammation and sepsis, leading Gregor to be charged with child neglect.

Charges were later upgraded after a forensic pathologist ruled Corey’s death a homicide – ruling the boy suffered from chronic abuse, including blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen with a laceration to the heart, a contusion to the left lung and a laceration and contusion of his liver.

It was revealed in court that Gregor did not know about Corey’s existence until the boy was 5 years old, when Micciolo lost custody due to drug addiction – a fact Gregor took issue with days after the teenager’s death.

“If I didn’t have a drug addict mother, I would still be alive. That’s been going through my head the whole drive. She’s a special kind of filth,” Gregor told the policeman who pulled him over in Tennessee.

He also claimed that he had already been arrested once in New Jersey when Micciol’s family allegedly planted marijuana on him.

When police asked about his son’s death, Gregor said the boy had succumbed to what doctors believed to be “internal bleeding.”

Gregor’s team argued that the boy’s injuries could have been caused by the aggressive cardiopulmonary resuscitation they performed in the emergency room for 49 minutes to save his life.

Ocean County District Attorney Bradley D. Billhimer issued a prepared statement after the verdict, saying, “Justice has finally been served for Corey.”

“Christopher Gregor must live the rest of his life knowing that he and he alone is responsible for the death of his only son,” Billhimer said.

“While nothing can return this precious child to his family, we hope today’s jury verdict offers some semblance of peace and closure for those who knew and loved Corey.”

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and has been reproduced with permission

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