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Dad who allegedly made young son run on high-speed treadmill during murder trial

The video of the little boy running on a treadmill is horrifying to watch.

But jurors in the murder trial of his father, Christopher Gregor, 31, currently underway in Toms River, New Jersey, had no choice: They had to see the surveillance footage from the New Jersey gym where prosecutors said Gregor forced his 6-year-old son, Corey Micciolo, to run at high speeds even as the boy struggled to find his balance and fell off the moving belt.

The video shows Corey falling six times, sliding on his back and face first behind the treadmill. Each time, his father picks him up, at one point appearing to bite the boy’s head as he tries to stay standing. Eventually, Gregor appears to slow down the speed and Corey starts running again until his father stops the machine and the two exit the gym.

Thirteen days later, on April 2, 2021, the boy was dead.

Christopher Gregor is charged with murder in connection with the death of his son, who died two weeks after surveillance footage appeared to show him forcing the 6-year-old to keep running on a high-speed treadmill.Christopher Gregor is charged with murder in connection with the death of his son, who died two weeks after surveillance footage appeared to show him forcing the 6-year-old to keep running on a high-speed treadmill.

Christopher Gregor is charged with murder in connection with the death of his son, who died two weeks after surveillance footage appeared to show him forcing the 6-year-old to keep running on a high-speed treadmill. Court Television

Corey’s mother, Breanna Micciolo, 27, alarmed by the number of bruises she saw on Corey’s body, had spent the previous night with her son at a pediatrician’s office and at two hospitals. However, aside from bruises and bruises, they hadn’t found anything wrong with Corey. Micciolo, who shared joint custody of Corey with Gregor, last saw her son alive the next morning, when she dropped him off at the apartment where he lived with his father.

Corey was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after 5 p.m. p.m.

In March 2022, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announcement that Gregor had been accused of murder.

Gregor was previously charged in July 2021 with child endangerment after investigators obtained video of the treadmill incident.

After an autopsy on April 3, 2021, the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office initially determined that Corey’s death was caused by blunt force trauma and classified its causes as undetermined.

But nearly a year later, another state expert determined that Corey died specifically from blunt force trauma to the chest and abdomen and ruled the death a homicide.

Gregor pleaded not guilty to both the child endangerment charge and the subsequent murder charge.

Six-year-old Corey Micciolo died on April 2, 2021. His father, Christopher Gregor, was charged with murder and is currently on trial.Six-year-old Corey Micciolo died on April 2, 2021. His father, Christopher Gregor, was charged with murder and is currently on trial.

Six-year-old Corey Micciolo died on April 2, 2021. His father, Christopher Gregor, was charged with murder and is currently on trial. GoFundMe

Disagreement over cause of death

Prosecutors and the defense presented conflicting theories regarding Corey’s cause of death in their report. opening statements on April 30.

Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lento said that in addition to blunt force trauma, Corey’s heart and liver were lacerated and he had bruises all over his body. A pediatrician testified that she documented 14 areas of bruises and scratches on his body that were in various stages of healing.

Gregor’s defense attorney, Mario Gallucci, warned jurors they would be “horrified” when they watch the treadmill video. However, he argued, the bruises Corey suffered, which had alarmed his mother long before she saw the video, did not cause the boy’s death. He also alleged that some of the bruises were caused when Corey was playing football.

In his opening statement, Gallucci said an expert would testify that Corey suffered from pneumonia and sepsis, and that lacerations to his liver and chest wounds were the result of chest compressions after he stopped breathing . Although rare, such injuries have been documented in medical journals, including the Medical case log And Intensive Care Medicine.

Lindsay Carnevale, an emergency room nurse who treated Corey before his death, testified for the prosecution Tuesday that medical staff performed pediatric CPR on Corey, meaning they used only one hand to compress his chest.

Gallucci also said the defense team’s medical experts would testify that Corey died as a result of sepsis caused by pneumonia.

However, prosecutors said that while the treadmill incident did not directly cause Corey’s death, it was indicative of chronic abuse.

Parental rights

Gregor wasn’t in Corey’s life until her son was 5, when Micciolo and his mother asked him to pay child support, she said. She had Corey when she was 17, while in high school, she testified. Her son was 4 years old when a paternity test confirmed that Gregor was Corey’s biological father, she said.

In October 2020, the couple was granted joint custody of the boy. Micciolo had visits on Wednesday evenings and alternating weekends.

Micciolo said in court that she had struggled with drug addiction in the past. She temporarily lost her visitation rights because of her drug use, she said, but they were reinstated after she underwent sobriety treatment. She insisted she never used drugs while Corey was in her care.

Medical tests and treatments

Micciolo filed a request for emergency custody on March 31, saying she “feared for Corey’s life,” she testified after seeing his bruises and learning about the treadmill incident from him .

The request was denied on April 1, between the time she took him to a pediatrician, who found no problem with Corey aside from bruising, and then to the Community Medical Center. The results of X-rays and blood tests were normal. A caseworker with the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) requested that Corey also be examined at Jersey Shore Medical Center.

Dr. Ye Kyaw Aung, a pediatric emergency room doctor who treated Corey at Jersey Shore Medical Center on the night of April 1, said he found no signs of infection or respiratory distress.

Corey was released around 1 a.m. and spent the night with Micciolo in his house.

Text messages read in court showed Gregor was angry with Micciolo for missing the 7 p.m. deadline to drop off Corey and accused him of “kidnapping” their son.

After dropping him off, Gregor called the DCPP hotline, which was played in courtaccusing Micciolo of coaching their son to lie and say his father had abused him.

At 3:30 p.m., Gregor called Micciolo and told him Corey was sick and he planned to take him to the hospital, she said.

Surveillance footage from the hospital lobby at 3:53 p.m. shows Gregor carrying his son on his shoulder, his body limp, his legs dangling.

Corey’s condition deteriorated quickly, Carnevale, the emergency room nurse, testified. He had a seizure and stopped breathing, and life-saving measures failed. He was pronounced dead at 5:02 p.m.

Investigation

Sgt. Raymond Coles, who works for the digital investigations laboratory of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Officetestified Tuesday that hospital surveillance footage and Gregor’s cellphone log indicated Corey’s father left the hospital around 5:20 p.m.

In a March 2022 court order, obtained by Court TV, a judge denied bail and ordered Gregor to remain in custody until his trial, finding he posed a high flight risk. (He was later released under the New Jersey regime. bail reform guidelinesprosecutors said.)

Gregor was considered a flight risk because of his alleged actions in the hours and days after Corey’s death, a judge determined, citing the probable cause affidavit.

Shortly after 6 p.m., according to the court order, Micciolo texted Gregor to tell him police were looking for him.

A few minutes later, Coles said, Gregor made several searches on his cell phone, including “can your phone be tracked in airplane mode” and “can my car be tracked.” In the following days, searches recovered from Gregor’s phone included “can internal bleeding raise your blood sugar”, “how does gastrointestinal bleeding occur”, “how to pong (sic) die” and “can gastrointestinal bleeding be slow”.

On the morning of April 4, Coles said, he searched for “there was a murder determined from an autopsy, how soon to file charges” and “how soon after an autopsy to file charges.”

According to the court order, Gregor texted his parents shortly after 6 p.m. after Corey’s death on April 2, telling them he was going to be gone for a while and asking them to look after him. dog. His cell phone rang in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Tennessee, investigators said.

Ocean County Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael O’Hearn testified Tuesday about a search of Gregor’s car, which was seized during a traffic stop in Alcoa, Tennessee, on April 4.

When investigators searched Gregor’s home on April 3, Det. Matthew Scutti testified on May 2they found soiled children’s clothes at the bottom of the kitchen trash can, under a McDonald’s bag and other trash.

A sweatshirt was stained with vomit and a pair of jeans and underwear were soiled with feces, from the groin down to the crotches of the jeans, Scutti said. Micciolo later identified the clothes as those she had dressed Corey in on the morning of his death, which she said were clean at that time.

The detective also identified photographs taken during Corey’s autopsy, which he said showed a number of bruises and contusions, including to the head and neck.

Prosecutors will continue to call witnesses Wednesday.

At his July 2022 arraignment, Gregor rejected a plea deal that would have resulted in him serving 30 years in prison without parole on both counts, according to court documents. obtained by Court TV. If convicted of murder, he faces life in prison. The child endangerment charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years.

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