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

The US father accused of killing his six-year-old son by forcing him to run at high speed on a treadmill was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday local time – escaping a murder charge in the disturbing 2021 case.

Christopher Gregor, 31, of New Jersey, was also found guilty of endangering the welfare of a child. The incident was caught on video because he was seen increasing the speed of the treadmill on which Corey Micciolo was running, causing the boy to fall repeatedly. NYPost reports.

As the weeping foreman read out the guilty verdict, the killer’s father looked stony-faced and only shook his head slightly.

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

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

The jury announced the verdict after five hours of deliberation, during which time it rejected a murder charge, which would have carried a prison sentence of 30 years to life.

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

According to his lawyers, Gregor expected to be found guilty for his son’s death, but he has maintained his innocence and plans to appeal the verdict.

“He was not surprised,” said defense attorney Mario Gallucci. “He knows it was only the first step in a long fight.”

The decision followed a grueling four-week trial in which the jury was shown surveillance video of Gregor forcing Corey to run on a treadmill after the six-year-old boy fell off several times due to the excessive speed of the exercise machine.

Gregor was seen increasing the speed and gradient of the track – and immediately putting little Corey back on the racing machine after he had been thrown out.

The boy was taken to the doctor a few days later and admitted that his father had forced him to run because he was “too fat.”

Corey was hospitalized just 24 hours later after waking from a nap stumbling, slurring his speech, nausea, and shortness of breath, but he died of a seizure during a CT scan.

An initial autopsy revealed that Corey had died from blunt force trauma and contusions to the heart and liver with acute inflammation and sepsis, which led to Gregor being charged with child neglect.

The charges were later upgraded after a medical examiner ruled Corey’s death a homicide, concluding that the boy had suffered from chronic abuse, including blunt impact injuries to his chest and abdomen, a laceration to his heart, a contusion to his left lung, and a laceration and contusion to his liver.

During the trial, it emerged that Gregor did not know of Corey’s existence until the boy was five years old and Micciolo lost custody due to drug addiction – a fact that Gregor used as a weapon just days after the boy’s death.

“If his mother hadn’t been a drug addict, he would still be alive. That was what was going through my head the whole drive. She’s a special bastard,” Gregor told a police officer who stopped him in Tennessee.

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

When police questioned him about his son’s death, Gregor said that doctors believed the boy had died of “internal bleeding.”

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

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer issued a prepared statement after the verdict, saying, “Finally, justice has 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,” said Billhimer.

“While nothing can bring this precious child back to his family, we hope today’s jury verdict offers a sense of peace and closure to those who knew and loved Corey.”

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

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