- Associated Press - Friday, September 18, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A state district judge has ordered a full competency hearing for an Albuquerque mom accused in the beating death of her 9-year-old son.

The judge on Friday ordered a hearing be held in November for Synthia Varela-Casaus, who is facing charges stemming from the December 2013 death of Omaree Varela. She has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Her case was put on hold earlier this year because both sides agreed there was a question of whether Varela-Casaus was competent to stand trial. Her trial was initially set to start in October.

Defendants must be able to understand the charges against them and assist in their own defense to be considered competent to stand trial.

Last week, jurors found the boy’s stepfather, Stephen Casaus, guilty of child abuse charges stemming from the death.



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