Prosecutor: David Creato, dad accused of son's death, spoke of wood spirit

David Creato appears in court soon after his 2015 arrest for allegedly killing his 3-year-old son Brendan.

David Creato appears in court soon after his 2015 arrest for allegedly killing his 3-year-old son Brendan. (4/20/17)

CAMDEN - Testimony began at the murder trial of a New Jersey father accused of killing his 3-year-old son because he had become an impediment to his relationship with a teenage girlfriend.

During opening statements Thursday, the prosecution told jurors that David Creato, 23, was consumed with jealousy when he killed his 3-year-old son Brendan.

Prosecutors previously said that Creato's girlfriend resented his dealings with Brendan’s mother, with whom he shared custody. Investigators found hundreds of text messages that seem to show arguments between him and the teen.

The boy’s body was found in the woods by the Cooper River near their Haddon Township home in October 2015.

The boy's mother testified she secretly recorded Creato suggesting that maybe "a spirit" had drawn their son to the woods in the dead of night.

The defense told jurors Creato's relationship was unhealthy, and his spiritual nature was strange, but that doesn't make him guilty. He has pleaded not guilty.

Testimony is due to resume Tuesday.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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