A New Jersey man who was convicted of killing his 3-year-old son after he worried the boy was interfering with his relationship with his 17-year-old girlfriend was given his crime’s maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, Time magazine reported.
David Creato Jr., 23, pleaded guilty in August to aggravated manslaughter of his son Brendan after a murder trial ended in a mistrial. He said at the August plea that he "recklessly caused his son's death under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life by depriving Brendan of oxygen.”
His son, Brendan, was found lifeless in the woods near Creato’s New Jersey home. Creato claimed his son had walked off, but investigators found that the socks he was wearing were clean.
The exact cause of his death has not been determined, but medical examiners believe it was a homicide.
"He lied to the police, he lied to his parents. Worst of all, he lied to Brendan's mother, who certainly had a right to know exactly what happened to their son," assistant prosecutor Christine Shah said in the sentencing hearing.
Prosecutors accused Creato of killing his son because he worried his girlfriend would leave him when she went to college. The girlfriend told Creato that she wanted him to give up custody of his boy.
The couple has since broken up.
Creato’s father, however, said to reporters after the sentencing that his son is innocent and that he is working with private investigators to prove this.
"The wrong person is sitting in jail," David Creato Sr. said.
[Image: NBC Philadelphia]