David "DJ" Creato suffocated his 3-year-old son and left his body in a wooded area next to a Camden County, New Jersey, neighborhood in 2015, according to a plea deal announced Wednesday.
Creato, 24, was facing a September retrial after a jury failed to convict him on a murder charge in the death of his son, Brendan.
Camden County prosecutors alleged Creato, 22 at the time, murdered the pre-schooler because the father was fearful his 17-year-old girlfriend would leave him.
A high-level law enforcement source said Wednesday that DJ Creato pleaded to an aggravated manslaughter charge.
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Prosecutors later confirmed the plea agreement saying Creato admitted to depriving Brendan of oxygen to end his life. He will be sentenced up to 10 years in a state prison. He's required to serve 8 1/2 years of the sentence before being eligible for parole. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 29.
Brendan Creato's body was discovered in a wooded area of Haddon Township by the Cooper River in Oct. 2015. DJ Creato said the boy wandered away from home and maintained that a stranger killed his son.
During the April murder trial, prosecutors argued that Brendan didn't walk into the woods alone. They said the boy was very afraid of the dark and that the boy wasn't wearing shoes, yet the soles of his bright socks were clean.
DJ Creato was also recorded by his son's mother talking about "a spirit" drawing the child into the woods. The mother, Samantha Denoto, made the recording at the request of prosecutors.
The case ended in a hung jury with prosecutors vowing to retry the man. The new trial was scheduled for Sept. 11.
DJ Creato has remained in custody since the trial ended.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.