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WATCH: David Creato Murder Trial Day 1

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The trial of David “DJ” Creato Jr. is set to begin Thursday morning in Camden County, New Jersey. Creato is accused of murdering his 3-year-old son Brendan and leaving the body in a park on October 13, 2015. Creato, who maintains his innocence, was the one who reported his son’s disappearance that morning. Authorities found Brendan’s body later that morning, at a location just a few blocks from their apartment. Prosecutors say half of Brendan’s body had been submerged in a creek, and that he died from either drowning or smothering.

Creato, 23, has claimed that his son went to sleep on their couch the night before, and when he woke up early the next morning, Brendan was gone. Creato had told authorities that the location in the park was one of Brendan’s favorite spots. However, prosecutors say there was no way Brendan left and ended up in the park on his own, due to the difficult path through the woods that he would have had to navigate to get there, and because Brendan’s socks were still clean when investigators discovered him.

The prosecution’s theory is that Creato, who was 22 at the time, killed his son, thinking it would appease his girlfriend Julia Spensky, who was 17. Spensky,  a college student, allegedly didn’t like kids, and Brendan was coming between them, the state has argued. The weekend before Brendan died, Spensky had allegedly threatened to break up with Creato.

Creato appeared to cooperate with authorities from the moment he reported his son missing. Video of an interview with police showed Creato reacting strongly to the news that Brendan was found deceased. Creato yelled, “Oh, God, no, no, no!” but prosecutors say the reaction was rehearsed. That video is expected to be included as evidence during the trial.

Opening statements will begin at approximately 9:00 am ET. LawNewz.com and the LawNewz Network will provide continuing coverage of the trial from beginning to end.

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