CAMDEN, NJ (CBS) — A jury of 12 and two alternates has been selected to hear the case against a Haddon Township man, charged with the murder of his 3-year-old son in October of 2015.
Twenty-three-year-old David Creato sat quietly as the jury was empanelled, clad in a blue suit, wearing earphones as his attorney and Camden County prosecutors weeded through more than 200 potential candidates over the last day-and-a-half.
Creato is facing charges of murder and child endangerment in the death of 3-year-old Brendan, whose body was found after a brief surge about a half-mile from his father’s apartment, lying atop a rock near the Cooper River in a wooded area.
Judge John Kelley told the jury that he expected proceedings would likely conclude by the end of May. Fifteen trial days have been scheduled starting with opening statements on Thursday morning.
Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Shah will go first, outlining the basics of her case against Creato which contains a predominance of circumstantial evidence. There are no direct witnesses to Brendan’s death, no DNA evidence and no pronouncement from the county coroner on an exact cause of death.
Defense Attorney Richard Fuschino, Junior could also make his opening statement at the start of proceedings or wait until the prosecution has concluded presenting its case. Fuschino has hired his own forensic expert who could be called upon to poke holes in the prosecution’s presentation.
Jurors are also expected to be taken to the scene where Brendan’s body was found to gain a better perspective than pictures and video alone could provide, as long as Judge Kelley is satisfied that logistical issues can be handled.
The schedule calls for trial three days a week, three of the next five weeks, because of various court related issues.