CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Testimony has concluded in the almost month-long David Creato murder trial and closing arguments are set for next week.
The final prosecution witness was Camden County Homicide Detective Michael Rhodes, who returned to the stand to testify that 3-year-old murder victim Brendan Creato’s name never came up in thousands of text messages David Creato traded with girlfriend Julia Stensky after the boy’s death. There were also clear indications that Stensky was trying to break off her relationship with Creato, suggesting she never wanted to have children with the defendant.
Creato never took the stand, but the defense offered up eight friends and family members who spoke of his character. All suggested Creato was a peaceful, honest man.
After the defense rested, jurors were sent home and defense attorney Richard Fuschino asked for the case to be thrown out. He told Judge John Kelley he believed the state failed to make a case for murder or child endangerment.
“They have put on no evidence to say that Brendan Creato was killed or that D.J. Creato was the person who killed him,” Fuschino said.
Prosecutor Christine Shah noted her admittedly circumstantial case presented over 10 days is strong enough to lead a jury to convict. Tops in her mind was the fact that the victim’s body was not found in his father’s apartment, but in Cooper River Park.
“He lived three-quarters-of-a-mile away,” Shah said. “That, combined with the clean socks, also in conjunction with the defendant’s clear motive and the opportunity, it’s my opinion that the lack of injuries actually implicates this defendant in his son’s death.”
Kelley denied the motion to dismiss.
Jurors will return to court on Tuesday, when both Shah and Fuschino will present closing arguments and Kelley will charge the jury, explaining the law to them.