South Jersey Dad DJ Creato Admits Killing His 3-Year-Old Boy
CAMDEN — David "DJ" Creato has pleaded guilty to killing his 3-year-old son instead of facing another trial.
Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo said that Creato, 23, pleaded guilty and admitted under oath "he recklessly caused his son’s death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by depriving Brendan of oxygen."
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Creato admitted to one count of aggravated manslaughter and will be sentenced to 10 years in state prison. He will be formally sentenced on Sept. 29.
During the trial, Creato said that his 3-year-old son, Brendan Creato, wandered away from his Haddon home in October 2015. He called 911 and a search was started for the boy. His body was found three hours later in a park along the Cooper River. A jury during a first trial could not not reach a unanimous verdict and Judge John T. Kelley declared a mistrial.
A new trial was scheduled to begin in September.
During the first trial, Camden County prosecutors said the boy’s neon green socks were clean, which would be impossible if he had wandered away from home. They also noted that about a month after the slaying, in a conversation secretly recorded by the boy’s mother, Creato spoke about “a spirit” drawing his son to the woods, where he was found dead.
A medical examiner testified Brendan died from “homicidal violence” but couldn’t determine where or when he died. Brendan’s brain showed an abnormality consistent with oxygen deprivation that can be caused by asphyxiation, drowning or strangulation, but it couldn’t be determined which of those led to his death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.