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Opening arguments to begin in stepfather’s child abuse trial

ALBUQUERQUE >> The trial for an Albuquerque man charged in connection with the child abuse death of his 9-year-old stepson is expected to go before a jury Wednesday, when lawyers deliver opening arguments in a case that exposed faults in the handling of child welfare investigations in the state.

Stephen Casaus, 43, is accused of taking part in the abuse that led to Omaree Varela’s death on December 2013 — six months after a 911 operator overheard the boy crying and saying he was hurt as a man told him how much he hated him in a profanity-filled tirade.

Casaus faces charges that include multiple counts of child abuse, tampering with evidence and bribery of a witness.

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