Dad Who Allegedly Made Young Son Run On Speeding Treadmill On Trial For Murder

The video of the little boy running on a treadmill is horrifying to watch.

But jurors in the murder trial of his father, Christopher Gregor, 31, currently underway in Toms River, New Jersey, had no choice: They were required to see the surveillance footage of the New Jersey gym where prosecutors said Gregor forced his 6-year-old son, Corey Micciolo, to run at high speeds even as the boy struggled to find his footing and fell off the moving belt.

The video shows Corey falling six times, sliding on his back and face-first behind the treadmill. Each time, his father picks him up, at one pointing seeming to bite the boy’s head as he tries to stay upright. Eventually Gregor appears to slow the speed and Corey resumes running until his father stops the machine and the two walk out of the gym.

Thirteen days later, on April 2, 2021, the boy was dead.

Christopher Gregor is charged with murder in connection with the death of his son, who died two weeks after surveillance footage appeared to show him forcing the 6-year-old to keep running on a speeding treadmill.

Christopher Gregor is charged with murder in connection with the death of his son, who died two weeks after surveillance footage appeared to show him forcing the 6-year-old to keep running on a speeding treadmill. Court TV

Corey’s mother, Breanna Micciolo, 27, alarmed about the number of bruises she saw on Corey’s body, had spent the previous night with her son at a pediatrician’s office and at two hospitals. Other than the bruises and contusions, however, they had found nothing wrong with Corey. Micciolo, who shared joint custody of Corey with Gregor, last saw her son alive the next morning, when she dropped him off at the apartment where he lived with his father.

Corey was pronounced dead at a hospital just after 5 p.m.

In March 2022, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office announced that Gregor had been charged with murder.

Gregor had previously been charged in July 2021 with child endangerment after investigators obtained video of the treadmill incident.

After an autopsy on April 3, 2021, the Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office had initially determined that Corey’s death was caused by blunt force trauma and classified its manner as undetermined.

But almost a year later, another state expert determined that Corey had died specifically of blunt force trauma impact to his chest and abdomen and ruled the death to be a homicide. 

Gregor pleaded not guilty to both the child endangerment charge and the later murder charge.

Six-year-old Corey Micciolo died on April 2, 2021. His father, Christopher Gregor, has been charged with murder and is currently on trial.

Six-year-old Corey Micciolo died on April 2, 2021. His father, Christopher Gregor, has been charged with murder and is currently on trial. GoFundMe

Disagreement Over The Cause Of Death

The prosecutors and defense presented dueling theories regarding Corey’s cause of death in their opening statements on April 30.

Assistant Prosecutor Christine Lento said that in addition to blunt force trauma, Corey’s heart and liver had been lacerated, and he had contusions all over his body. A pediatrician testified that she had documented 14 areas of bruising and scratches on his body that were in different stages of healing.

Gregor’s defense attorney, Mario Gallucci, warned jurors they would be “horrified” when they watched the treadmill video. However, he argued, the bruises Corey sustained, which had alarmed his mother long before she saw the video, did not cause the boy’s death. He also alleged some of the bruises were caused when Corey played football.

In his opening statement, Gallucci said an expert would testify that Corey suffered from pneumonia and sepsis, and that lacerations to his liver and chest injuries were a result of chest compressions after he stopped breathing. Though uncommon, such injuries have been documented in medical journals, including the Journal of Medical Cases and Critical Care Medicine

Lindsay Carnevale, an emergency room nurse who treated Corey before his death, testified for the prosecution Tuesday that the medical staff performed pediatric CPR on Corey, meaning they used a single hand to compress his chest.

Gallucci also said the defense team’s medical experts will testify that Corey died of sepsis caused by pneumonia.

However, prosecutors said that even if the treadmill incident didn’t directly cause Corey’s death, it was indicative of chronic abuse.

Parental Rights

Gregor was not in Corey’s life until his son was 5 years old, when Micciolo and her mother requested that he pay child support, she said. She had Corey when she was 17, a junior in high school, she testified. Her son was 4 when a paternity test confirmed that Gregor was Corey’s biological father, she said.

In October 2020, the couple were granted joint custody of the boy. Micciolo had visitation on Wednesday evenings and alternating weekends.

Micciolo said in court she had struggled with drug abuse in the past. She temporarily lost visitation rights because of her drug use, she said, but they were reinstated after she sought treatment to become sober. She insisted she had never used drugs when Corey was in her care.

Medical Testing And Treatment

Micciolo filed an emergency custody request on March 31, saying she was “in fear for Corey’s life,” she testified, after seeing his bruises and learning from him about the treadmill incident.

The application was denied on April 1, between the time she took him to a pediatrician, who found nothing wrong with Corey aside from the bruising, and then to the Community Medical Center. Results from X-rays and bloodwork were normal. A Department of Child Protection and Permanence (DCPP) caseworker instructed that Corey also be examined at the Jersey Shore Medical Center.

Dr. Ye Kyaw Aung, a pediatric emergency room physician who treated Corey at Jersey Shore Medical Center on the night of April 1, testified that he found no signs of infection or respiratory distress. 

Corey was released about 1 a.m. and spent the night with Micciolo at her townhouse.

Text messages read in court showed that Gregor was angry with Micciolo for missing her 7 p.m. deadline to drop Corey off and accused her of “kidnapping” their son.

After she dropped him off, Gregor placed a call to the DCPP hotline, which was played in court, accusing Micciolo of coaching their son to lie and say his father had abused him.

At 3:30 p.m., Gregor called Micciolo and told her that Corey was ill and he planned to take him to the hospital, she said.

Surveillance footage from the hospital lobby at 3:53 p.m. shows Gregor carrying his son over his shoulder, his body limp, legs dangling.

Corey’s condition deteriorated rapidly, Carnevale, the ER nurse, testified. He had a seizure and stopped breathing, and lifesaving measures were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead at 5:02 p.m.


Sgt. Raymond Coles, who works for the digital forensics laboratory at the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, testified Tuesday that hospital surveillance footage and Gregor’s cellphone log indicated Corey’s father left the hospital about 5:20 p.m. 

In a March 2022 court order, obtained by Court TV, a judge denied bail and ordered Gregor to remain in custody until his trial, finding that he posed a high risk for flight. (He was subsequently released under New Jersey’s bail reform guidelines, prosecutors said.)

Gregor was deemed a flight risk because of his alleged actions in the hours and days after Corey’s death, a judge determined, citing the probable cause affidavit.

Just after 6 p.m., according to the court order, Micciolo texted Gregor saying the police were looking for him. 

Minutes later, Coles testified, Gregor made several searches on his cellphone, including “can your phone be tracked in airplane mode” and “can my car be tracked.” In the following days, searches recovered from Gregor’s phone included “can internal bleeding raise your blood sugar levels,” “how does gastrointestinal bleeding happen,” “how pong [sic] to die” and “can a GI bleed be slow.” 

On the morning of April 4, Coles said, he searched “there was a murder determined from an autopsy how long to file charges” and “how long after an autopsy to file charges get filed.”

According to the court order, Gregor texted his parents shortly after 6 p.m. after Corey’s death on April 2, telling them he was going to be away for a while and asking them to look after his dog. His cellphone pinged in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Tennessee, investigators said.

Ocean County sheriff’s Sgt. Michael O’Hearn testified Tuesday about a search of Gregor’s car, which was seized at a traffic stop in Alcoa, Tennessee, on April 4.

When investigators searched Gregor’s home on April 3, Ocean County sheriff’s Det. Matthew Scutti testified on May 2, they found soiled child’s clothing at the bottom of the kitchen garbage bin underneath a McDonald’s bag and other trash.

A sweatshirt was stained with vomit and a pair of jeans and underwear were soiled with feces, from the groin down both inseams of the jeans, Scutti said. Micciolo later identified the clothes as those she had dressed Corey in the morning of his death, which she said were clean at the time.

The detective also identified photographs taken at Corey’s autopsy, which he said showed a number of bruises and contusions, including on his head and neck.

Prosecutors will continue to call witnesses on Wednesday.

At his arraignment in July 2022, Gregor rejected a plea deal that would have seen him serve 30 years in prison without parole for both charges, according to court documents obtained by Court TV. If convicted of murder, he could face life in prison. The child endangerment charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years. 


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