Mom of ‘treadmill killer dad’ claims he ‘cried hysterically’ after six-year-old son died

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The mother of the New Jersey man on trial for the murder of his six-year-old son testified that he “cried hysterically” when he called to tell her the boy had died.

Christopher Gregor, 31, is accused of forcing his son Corey Micciolo to run on the treadmill at high speeds because he was “too fat.”

Corey died on 2 April 2021 at the Southern Ocean County Medical Center from traumatic injuries – including a final blow to the heart just hours before his death – which prosecutors allege stem from chronic child abuse at the hands of his father.

Carolyn Gregor took the stand at the trial on Thursday where she recalled the devastating phone call she received from her son with the news that her grandson had died.

“Chris is hysterical, hysterical,” she told the jury after she explained that Mr Gregor had taken Corey to the hospital because he was lethargic.

“What did she do to him, what did… he’s screaming on the phone,” about the boy’s mother, Breanna Micciolo, she said. “And then… he tells me Corey passed,” she added as she wiped away her tears.

Carolyn Gregor took the stand at the trial on Thursday where she recalled the devastating phone call she received from her son with the news that the boy had died (Law & Crime)

“So I called my husband, and I’m flipping out at the house,” she said. “I was so worried. He was so adamant that something happened when he (Corey) was with his mother.”

Ms Gregor then told the court that her other son, Danny, called her and said he was getting threatening phone calls at the house, accusing Christopher Gregor of being a “murderer.”

During his mother’s testimony, Mr Gregor could be seen breaking down in court and wiping away his tears.

The trial, which began last week at Superior Court in Ocean City, was shown surveillance from Atlantic Heights fitness centre, in Barnegat, New Jersey, where Mr Gregor appears to be forcing little Corey onto a treadmill.

Corey’s mother, who was the first witness on the stand, burst into tears as she watched her son allegedly being abused by his father in the footage.

Footage allegedly shows Christopher Gregor forcing his six-year-old son Corey Micciolo to run on a treadmill (credit Court TV)

The footage, filmed on 20 March 2021, shows the little boy forced to run increasingly fast on the exercise equipment as his dad sharply steepens the incline. Unable to keep up with the conveyor belt beneath, Corey’s legs buckle and he falls to the floor.

Mr Gregor is then seen picking up his son, who is struggling to stay upright, and forcing him back onto the machine. The father then appears to “bite” his son – which was also noted on the arrest warrant – on the top of his head before finally decreasing the machine’s speed and incline.

Days later, Ms Micciolo, who shared custody of her son with Mr Gregor, reported the boy’s injuries to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency, she told the court.

He was taken to the hospital on 1 April 2021 – one day before his death. During that hospital visit, the six-year-old made a key claim about why he was forced to run: his father told him “he was too fat”.

Mr Gregor breaks down in court while his mother is on the stand (Court TV)

The next day, Mr Gregor brought the boy back to the hospital due to his concerning symptoms. While in hospital, the little boy suffered a seizure during a CT scan. Medical staff desperately tried in vain to save his life.

An initial autopsy found that Corey’s death was the result of sustaining blunt force injuries with cardiac and liver contusions, acute inflammation and sepsis.

Forensic pathologist Dr Thomas Andrew ruled the boy’s death to be a homicide in September 2021 stemming from chronic abuse. Dr Andrew believes Corey suffered an acute traumatic injury to the heart four to 12 hours before his death.

Mr Gregor was arrested on 9 March 2022 on child neglect charges following an investigation into the gym footage.

If convicted of murder, he faces between 30 years to life without the possibility of parole in prison. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of child endangerment.

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