CLAYTON, Mo. — A St. Louis County man was convicted Friday in the death of his disabled 9-year-old son, Christian, who disappeared in 2003.
After a few hours of deliberation, the fate of Dawan Ferguson was decided: guilty of murder in the first degree. He also faces a life sentence without eligibility for parole.
“I don’t see anybody as a real winner in this case,” said Derek Dunn, an acquaintance of the family.
The family said they feel some justice has been served, but they will never fully get closure without Christian’s body.
“They’ll probably never understand the pain that we’ve endured,” said Christian’s mother, Theda Person. “I never saw my child’s teeth fall out. There’s so many things I never got to do.”
Ferguson had said Christian was kidnapped after his car was stolen while on the way to the hospital. Christian was never found.
During a press conference on Friday, Person said the verdict is still sinking in after years of demanding justice.
“I heard the words, and I know it’s real, but I’m still allowing it to sink in because I’ve been fighting so long,” said Person. “I had to be so strong for other people, including myself.”
Prosecutors said the defense’s side of the story had a lot of holes in it.
“There was plenty of evidence that Dawan committed the murder, so that is why I think the jury got it right,” said John Schlesinger, lead prosecuting attorney. “Circumstantial evidence is evidence.”
The defense attorney argued there was no evidence that demonstrated a motive in Christian’s death. Christian had a rare metabolic condition, was disabled, and required around-the-clock care.
One juror found his father’s lack of care specifically with a piece of evidence, a medicine bottle, led to be a determining factor in their decision that the murder was premeditated.
“They showed us the dates, and that’s like if there’s still medicine from months and a year ago, you did not give it to Christian,” said juror Evan Harris.
The family said they believe Dawan and multiple other people failed Christian. Now, after almost 20 years, the biggest question over what happened to Christian still remains.
“You know the truth, where’s my baby? Where do you put my baby?” said Person.
FOX 2 tried to reach out to the defense attorney, but she never came outside for an interview.
The jury was instructed to disregard all lesser charges once they convicted on any charge. Sentencing for the murder will come at a later date.
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