Dawan Ferguson verdict: Case explored as man is convicted for 2003 murder of son with a rare medical condition

Dawan Ferguson was charged with killing his son Christian (Image via Theda Person)
Dawan Ferguson was charged with killing his son Christian (Image via Theda Person)

A Missouri court has convicted a man named Dawan Ferguson of murdering his son, who was suffering from a rare medical condition.

The incident happened in June 2003 when Dawan Ferguson, now 49, reported via a 911 call that a carjacker stole his SUV with his child Christian Ferguson, 9, still inside.

The alleged kidnapping case remained active till 2019, after which police charged Dawan with the murder of his son. Christian's body was never found.

His mother testified that Christian was born with a genetic disorder, citrullinemia, that required medication every day. The genetic disorder of one's metabolism, citrullinemia, produces more ammonia in the blood. The boy needed to be on medication and could only ingest a minuscule amount of protein in his daily diet.

Christian Ferguson's sister, Lin Ferguson, also testified in court on Wednesday morning that she was abused by their father, Dawan Ferguson. As a result, she was afraid of reporting anything about Christian's disappearance to authorities or DFS.

As per the document submitted to the court, on the morning of June 11, 2003, a call was made to 911 from a payphone outside a gas station at Page and Skinker to report about his SUV getting carjacked with Christian still inside the vehicle.

Dawan reported that he was bringing Christian to St. Louis Children's Hospital at the time and had to stop to call the hospital in advance of their arrival. Police found the SUV hours later but not Christian. Court documents said Christian would have died within 48 hours without his medication.

Trial of Dawan Ferguson: Father had custody of the child

The charges of first-degree murder against Dawan Ferguson were levied in 2019, almost 16 years after the disappearance of Christian Ferguson.

According to prosecutors, Dawan has had full custody of Christian since 1998 but failed to take care of Christian, which ultimately caused his death a couple of years later.

Assistant Prosecutor John Schlesinger told jurors:

"The evidence presented this week will show you that Christian Ferguson was never missing. The 911 phone call was not true and it was all a cover-up for the murder of his son."

Dawan, however, denied all the charges and his involvement in his son's disappearance. His lawyer, Jemia Steele, told the jurors:

"The state has a lot of innuendos, rumors, suggestions and theories but they don't actually have evidence of murder."

At the trial this week, prosecutors blamed Dawan's lifestyle and intimate relationships for the neglect of his son and his eventual death.

Prosecutor Schlesinger said in an evidentiary hearing last week:

β€œHe wanted to have these relationships outside his marriage, and Christian interfered with that. Christian was an inconvenience to the defendant because of this lifestyle.”

The defense has refused to put any argument forward.

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Edited by Sayati Das