UPDATE: St. Louis County authorities are holding a news conference following Dawan Ferguson’s verdict. You can see it in the video above.
CLAYTON, Mo. — A jury has convicted a St. Louis County father in the death of his disabled 9-year-old son.
Dawan Ferguson was found guilty of first degree murder and child molestation resulting in death after his son Christian went missing in June 2003.
Christian had a rare metabolic disease, was disabled and required 24-hour care.
On the morning of June 11, 2003, Dawan Ferguson called 911 from a payphone outside a gas station in Page and Skinker to report that his SUV had been hit by a car and Christian was still inside the vehicle. Dawan said he was taking Christian to St. Louis Children’s Hospital at the time and stopped to call the hospital ahead of their arrival. Police found the SUV hours later, but not Christian. According to court records, without his medication, Christian would have died within 48 hours.
Christian was never found. The boy was eventually presumed dead. he was 9
Christian was born with a genetic metabolic disorder called citrullinaemia, which means the body produces more ammonia in the blood. As a result, the boy had to take medication and could only get a tiny amount of protein from his daily diet.
In the early stages of closing arguments, prosecutors argued disagreements about the defense’s side of the 911 call. Prosecutors allege that there was a several-hour period that didn’t line up with the timetable when police were notified that Christian was missing, and the defense side of the story was “wrong.”
Prosecutor John Schlesinger argued that before his death, Dawan made conscious decisions about Christian’s care, such as not giving him medication or feeding him properly. The defense alleges Dawan didn’t take care of Christian because he was an inconvenience and “he didn’t want to deal with it.”
The defense argued that there are multiple rumours, theories and innuendos as to what happened. Arguments have been put forward against the prosecution’s recital in caring for Christian, and the defense alleges a home nurse for failing to report Christian’s deteriorating health to the police or DFS.
Defense attorney Jemia Steele argues there is no evidence showing a motive for Christian’s death. She also claims there was no circumstantial evidence of foul play in a Malibu car linked to the investigation. This car belonged to Lakeisha Mayes, Dawan’s girlfriend at the time.
Steele argued that the prosecution’s story about the stolen car was implied and that the defense witnesses had no reason to help Dawan. She also claimed, based on testimony from Christian’s sister, that the story of Chrisitan’s disappearance was twisted.
Before the closing arguments ended, Schlessinger spoke a second time, claiming that Dawan Ferguson never took part in organized searches or prayer vigils for Christian. He claims that Dawan brought Christian “to the brink of death” and cited statements by Dawan, medical records and missed appointment documents as evidence of premeditated acts from January 2001 to June 2003 before Christian’s death.
Lin Ferguson, Christian Ferguson’s sister, testified in court Wednesday morning that she was molested by her father Dawan Ferguson. Because of this, she was reluctant to report anything to authorities or DFS about Christian’s disappearance.
Earlier in her testimony, Lin identified Dawan Ferguson as the “sperm donor” and not her father.
Lin, who was 8 at the time of Christian’s disappearance, said she shared a bedroom with Christian while other siblings had their own rooms in the house.
According to Lin, after being hospitalized in January 2001, Christian was very thin. She said you could see Christian’s pelvic bones and the indentations in his spine. She recalled being able to play with her brother before that hospital visit in 2001, and said he could move around normally too.
Lin also detailed Dawan’s abuse and mistreatment of Christian over the years. She told the court she never saw Dawan feed Christian or give him medicine. She said Christian had been tied to his bed with his blanket on several occasions. She recalled an instance when the family went to a hotel that evening and left Christian on his bed while the light in the residence was off. She couldn’t remember an adult ever being home when this happened.
On June 10, 2003, the day before Christian’s disappearance, Lin said that Christian moaned and moaned all day and appeared to be in great pain. Her brother’s discomfort continued into the night. She claimed Dawan returned to the bedroom and picked up Christian in a comforter. Dawan carried Christian into his car and walked away with the boy.
Santana Contreras, a witness speaking on behalf of prosecutors, took the stand Thursday morning. She was visibly nervous as she entered the courtroom. Your statement would explain why.
Contreras knew Dawan and Monica Ferguson, his ex-wife, in 2004. Monica was a work acquaintance. According to Contreras, Monica approached her about entering into a throuple (polyamorous relationship) with the Ferguson’s.
Contreras only met Dawan and Monica three times outside of work — once at her house and twice at her apartment. It was at one of these meetings that Contreras realized that Dawan was Christian Ferguson’s father.
She testified that Monica once told her that taking care of Christian should be Dawan’s responsibility.
Contreras told the court that before the call was made from the phone booth on June 11, 2003, Dawan said his stepfather was a powerful man and that Christian had been dead, according to Dawan’s stepfather, believed to be at a recent construction site. He said nothing more about a more precise location.
Monica Ferguson, Sonya Burden, Lin Finnegan and Deshonda Linwood were among those who testified in court throughout the week.
https://fox2now.com/news/jury-finds-dawan-ferguson-guilty-in-murder-of-son/ A jury finds Dawan Ferguson guilty of the murder of a son in St. Louis County