- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Jury deliberations have been delayed at least day in the case of an Albuquerque man charged in connection with the beating death of his 9-year-old stepson because a juror is sick.

Deliberations are expected to resume Friday in the trial for Stephen Casaus. He faces several charges, including child abuse resulting in death.

Casaus’ attorneys argue he is not to blame in the death of Omaree Varela, who authorities say died Dec. 27, 2013, of severe internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma.

Jurors must decide whether Casaus participated in the abuse and whether his actions allowed for Omaree to be tortured or cruelly punished.

In closing statements Wednesday, the defense pointed jurors toward incriminating statements made by the boy’s mother. She is expected to stand trial separately at a later date.

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