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 abuse resulting in death after his son, Christian, disappeared in June 2003.

The jury has reached a verdict Friday after nearly 2.5 hours of deliberation. That followed more than an hour of closing arguments from the prosecution and defense.

Dawan Ferguson was on trial for first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death after his son, Christian, disappeared in June 2003. Christian had a rare metabolic condition, was disabled, and required around-the-clock care.

On the morning of June 11, 2003, Dawan Ferguson called 911 from a pay phone outside a gas station at Page and Skinker to report his SUV had been carjacked with Christian still inside the vehicle. Dawan said he was bringing Christian to St. Louis Children’s Hospital at the time and stopped 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 medications.

Christian was never found. The boy was eventually presumed dead. He was 9.

Christian was born with a genetic disorder of one’s metabolism called citrullinemia, which means the body produces more ammonia in the blood. As a result, the boy needed to be on medications and could only ingest a minuscule amount of protein in his daily diet.

Closing Arguments

During the early stages of closing arguments, the prosecution argued inconsistencies over the defense’s side of the story on the 911 call. The prosecution claims there was a period of several hours that did not match the timeline of when police were informed Christian went missing and the defense’s side of the story was “bogus.”

Prosecutor John Schlesinger argued that Dawan made deliberate decisions over caring for Christian prior to his death, such as not giving him medicine or feeding him properly. The defense contends Dawan didn’t take care of Christian because he was an inconvenience and “he didn’t want to deal with it.”

The defense argued there are several rumors, theories and innuendos as to what happened. There were arguments made against the prosecution’s point of deliberation in caring for Christian, and the defense faults a home health nurse for not reporting Christian’s worsening health to police or DFS.

Defense attorney Jemia Steele argues there was no evidence that demonstrated a motive in Christian’s death. She also claims there was no circumstantial evidence of foul play in a Malibu car linked to the investigation. That car belonged to Lakeisha Mayes, Dawan’s girlfriend at the time.

Steele argued the prosecution’s story about the stolen car is implied and that defense witnesses would have no reason to help Dawan. She also claimed, based on statements made from Christian’s sister, that the story on Chrisitan’s disappearance was twisted.

Before closing arguments wrapped up, Schlessinger spoke a second time and claimed that Dawan Ferguson never attended any organized searches or prayer vigils for Christian. He claims Dawan brought Christian “to the brink of death” and cited statements from Dawan, medical records and documents of missed appointments as evidence of deliberate acts from January 2001 to June 2003 before Christian’s death.

Closing arguments ended just after 2 p.m. Jury deliberations are underway. Check back on updates from closing arguments and deliberation from FOX2.