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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Neglect at center of alleged St. Louis child killer trial

Click to enlarge Starting Today, A Jury Must Decide Whether Don Ferguson Is Guilty Of Child Abuse And Murder Of His Nine-Year-Old Son, Christian, In 2003.  - Screenshots Via Ksdk

Starting today, a jury must decide whether Don Ferguson is guilty of child abuse and murder of his nine-year-old son, Christian, in 2003.

Two nurses who cared for Christian Ferguson a year before he died paint a bleak picture of nine years of life with his father on the pine lawn.

Christian’s father, Dawn Ferguson, was charged with murdering Christian in June of 2003 and then telling police an elaborate cover story of Christian being in the back seat of an SUV when it was stolen.

Christian was seriously suffering from a rare genetic disorder called citrullinemia, which made him unable to digest proteins. By 2003, he could no longer walk or use the bathroom and needed extensive care.

The state is claiming that Ferguson was a grossly neglectful man who viewed his disabled son as “an inconvenience”.

Ferguson’s public defender, Jamia Steele, is arguing that Christian’s mother, Theda Persson, who separated from Ferguson in 2003, is working to influence witnesses to testify against him.

Much of the testimony from the first day of trial was from two home health care workers who cared for Christian in 2002.

Nurse Trudell Overbe at the home testified that Christian “never had clean clothes. I’d let him wear my son’s clothes. I didn’t mind. I wouldn’t let him out like that.”

Overbe says that he bought food for Christian to eat. Christian’s bedroom often didn’t have bed sheets, which usually caused a lot of urine smell.

Overbe testified that one weekend when she was not at home, Christian’s dining equipment fell and was on the floor when she arrived home on Monday morning. She says that she herself took Christian to the hospital. Ferguson didn’t want to go.

During the cross-examination, Steele asked Overby that, even though she was a mandatory reporter, she had never alerted the state Department of Social Services to the alleged neglect going on at the Ferguson home. Overby admitted that she never told the state anything, but did report her concerns to the nursing agency she worked for.

Overby also said that she was often intimidated by Ferguson, who worked as a bounty hunter.

Kimberly Nelson, another nurse who worked in Ferguson’s home around the same time, spoke of her more favorably. She testified that she was never afraid of him and that she had witnessed the loving conversation between father and son.

However, Nelson also testified that once she went to refill one of Christian’s prescriptions, she could not refill it because Christian hadn’t seen a doctor in more than a year. was brought.

Nelson, not Ferguson, took Christian to subsequent doctor’s appointments.

The testimony of both Nelson and Overby was overshadowed by persistent objections from both the defense and the prosecution. Many of these resulted in the two lawyers approaching the bench to speak to the judge.

At one point, Judge Brian May encouraged lawyers to move things along with fewer interruptions. During a consultation with both the lawyers in the Bench, he can be heard saying that the continuous delay is “fooling” all of them.

May spoke to both the defense and the prosecution when saying this, but in general, May dismissed many of the objections of defense attorneys compared to prosecutors.

Christian’s aunt Sharon Williams took the stand late in the afternoon. In addition to being Person’s sister, Williams acted as a go-to between Ferguson and Person after their separation.

Williams testified that in 2003, when Persson was trying to gain partial custody of Christian, Ferguson told him that he did not want to return to court in an ongoing custody dispute. She said that Ferguson was so “excited” about the situation that she said the person would see Christian “over my dead body”.

Several objections during Williams’ interrogation led to another consultation between lawyers and the judge. Instead of allowing the proceedings to resume, May dismissed the jury for the day a little before 4 p.m.

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