CAMDEN COUNTY, N.J. (CBS) — A Camden County father accused of killing his 3-year-old son has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
David Creato Jr. pleaded guilty to a single charge of manslaughter Wednesday morning.
Creato is accused of killing his 3-year-old son Brendan in 2015.
Brendan was found dead in shallow water on Oct. 13, 2015 at a park a half-mile from his dad’s home. His feet were clean and prosecutors always argued that someone placed him there.
After sitting in jail for a year-and-a-half, the last person to see Brendan alive is talking.
“He absolutely accepts responsibility for being so reckless that it caused his son’s death,” said Creato’s defense attorney Richard Fuschino.
Fuschino went through an entire trial last spring in hopes to clear his client’s name. The circumstantial case ended in a mistrial in May as toxicology reports came back inconclusive.
Fuschino said Creato did the right thing by pleading guilty.
“If he had not admitted to anything, he could not get the benefit of this deal. It would have been irresponsible and foolish for him not to take this deal,” said Fuschino.
According to court documents, Creato admitted to recklessly causing death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to human life. His actions led to Brendan’s brain being deprived of oxygen.
If convicted in another trial, Creato could have been behind bars for life.
Prosecutors argued that Creato killed Brendan in part because his girlfriend didn’t like being around the boy.
According to CBS3, Creato will do 10 years in jail and will be eligible for parole in eight-and-a-half years.
Creato has been in jail since January 2016.
Fuschino expects Creato will spend almost seven years behind bars because of his current time served.
Creato’s sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 29.