‘Treadmill killer dad’ accused of trying to coach mom’s testimony in jailhouse call

A New Jersey man on trial for the murder of his six-year-old son has been accused of coaching his mother from jail on what to say to the jury during her testimony.

Christopher Gregor, 31, is on trial for the murder of his six-year-old son Corey Micciolo. Prosecutors say Corey suffered traumatic injuries – including a final blow to the heart just hours before his death – from chronic child abuse at the hands of his father. In particular, Mr Gregor is accused of forcing his child to run at high speeds on a treadmill soon before his death.

Christopher Gregor, pictured in court, is accused of coaching his mother on how to testify in front of the jury (Court TV)
Christopher Gregor, pictured in court, is accused of coaching his mother on how to testify in front of the jury (Court TV)

Mr Gregor’s parents, David and Carol Gregor testified without the jury present on Friday about the day they learned Corey died, the Asbury Park Press reports. The testimony happened away from the jury so the judge could decide if their accounts were admissible.

His parents were expected to testify in front of the jury on Wednesday, 15 May. However, it was then revealed in court on Wednesday that after their testimony the previous week, Mr Gregor called his mom from jail to coach her on what to say when speaking to the jury.

“She made every attempt to stop him from talking, but he persisted,’’ Mr Gregor’s attorney Mario Gallucci said in court. “She hung up on her son because he continued to persist.’’

Mr Gallucci will not call Carolyn back to the stand after the prosecution threatened to cross-examine her about the phone call. Mr Gallucci, however, said he did not disagree with the prosecution’s characterisation that his client was coaching his mother, according to the Asbury Park Press.

Superior Court Judge Guy Ryan ruled the phone call would be admissible for the prosecution to cross-examine, to prove “consciousness of guilt,” according to the newspaper.

Carolyn and David previously took the stand a week ago to testify about the day Mr Gregor called to tell them about Corey’s death. “Chris is hysterical, hysterical,” she told the jury of the call.

Mr Gregor’s trial, which began on 7 May, has been played footage filmed on 20 March 2021 showing six-year-old Corey forced to run increasingly fast on the exercise equipment as his dad sharply steepens the incline. Corey’s legs buckled and he fell to the floor, the video showed.

The footage then showed Mr Gregor picking up his son, who was struggling to stay upright and forcing him back onto the machine. Mr Gregor then appears to “bite” his six-year-old son on the top of his head before decreasing the machine’s speed and incline.

Corey’s mother, Bre Micciolo, was the first witness on the stand earlier this month. She cried as she watched her son allegedly being abused by his father in the footage.

She told the court she reported Corey’s injuries to the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency several days later.

He was taken to the hospital on 1 April 2021 and died a day later.