‘Treadmill abuse dad’ found guilty of manslaughter in son’s death

‘Treadmill abuse dad’ found guilty of manslaughter in son’s death

A father was found guilty of manslaughter Friday for the 2021 death of his son, whom he was filmed on surveillance camera forcing to run on a high-speed treadmill despite the boy falling over repeatedly.

Following a four-week trial, a jury in Ocean County, New Jersey passed on a more serious murder charge, but found that Christopher Gregor, 31, was guilty of both aggravated manslaughter and child endangerment. He could faced up to 30 years in prison.

His son, Corey Micciolo, 6, died in April of 2021, after being taken to a hospital complaining of symptoms including slurred speech, stumbling, neaseau and shortness of breath.

At the hospital, the boy told doctors that his father, who wasn’t aware he had a son until the boy was five, forced him to run on a treadmill because he was “too fat.”

"We’re happy with the verdict and we thank the prosecutor’s office,’’ Corey’s mother, Breanna Micciolo, told the Asbury Park Press after the decision.

Mario Gallucci, an attorney for Gregor, said outside the courtroom his client “absolutely” plans to appeal the verdict.

"He was not surprised,’’ Gallucci added. "He knows it was just the first step in a long battle.’’

During the trial, both sides sought to present competing versions of how the shocking treadmill video either did or did not connect to the child’s death weeks later.

“What kind of father would do this to their son?” Christine Lento, an assistant prosecutor, told the jury during closing arguments. “Everything that you need and want to know is captured on this video,” she added.

Gregor was originally charged only with the child endangerment offense, though the charge was later upgraded to murder when a medical examiner amended their autopsy report to show Corey’s cause of death as homicide.

Dr Thomas Andrew, former chief medical examiner for New Hampshire, who helped revise the examiner’s initial report, testified for the prosecution that the child died as a result of blunt force injuries to the chest and lacerations to the heart and liver.

A different expert, Dr Michael Baden, former chief medical examinder for New York City and host of the HBO show Autopsy, testified for the defense that there was a more than 50 per cent chance the child died of pneumonia or another cause.

Another prosecution witness, an infectious disease specialist, argued the autopsy showed no signs of pneumonia.

Breanna Micciolo, Corey’s mother, said she tried to report suspected abuse more than 100 times in 18 months to New Jersey officials, but no action was taken.

“I don’t know if it was incompetence on [the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency] side or they just didn’t believe me,” Micciolo told News Nation last year.

The defence didn’t dispute the shocking nature of the treadmill video, but argued the evidence didn’t show that the harm the child suffered there was connected to his death.

“When you see that video, you are going to be horrified. You’re going to be mortified. But I’m telling you right now that the evidence you’re going to see... his death had absolutely nothing to do with that treadmill,” the defence argued in opening statements.

Gregor’s mother also testified that her son was “adamant that something happened when he (Corey) was with his mother.”

Sentencing is scheduled for 2 August.