- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - The stepfather of a 9-year-old boy who police say was kicked to death by his mother will stand trial beginning Aug. 31.

Stephen Casaus faces charges including child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence in connection with the December 2013 death of Omaree Varela.

Prosecutors have alleged that Casaus permitted his stepson to be tortured and should have known the dangers but acted with disregard for the child’s health and safety.

Defense attorneys argue that Casaus had nothing to do with the boy’s death.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (https://bit.ly/1gTBPjh) that during a hearing Monday, a judge agreed with the defense to throw out a 20-minute 911 call that caught Casaus directing an abusive and obscenity-laden tirade toward the boy six months before his death.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, https://www.abqjournal.com


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