Mom pleas not guilty in son’s death

Synthia Varela-Casaus
Synthia Varela-Casaus

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The Albuquerque mom accused of killing her 9-year-old son is maintaining her innocence.

With tears in her eyes, Synthia Varela-Casaus stood in court Friday as her public defender entered a plea for her.

“Your honor we’ve had a chance to review the indictment with Ms. Varela-Casaus, she understands the charges against her and the possible penalties…she enters the plea of not guilty on all counts,” Jeff Buckels, public defender, said.

The “not guilty” plea is along the line of what Varela-Casaus has said since she was arrested just few days after Christmas.

That’s when her son, 9-year-old Omaree Varela, was found dead at their northeast Albuquerque home.

Investigators say Varela-Casaus admitted to repeatedly kicking the boy in the stomach. She later told the media that it was an accident and that she had kicked Omaree “the wrong way.”

She told a judge in metro court as well that it was an accident.

Varela-Casaus has been in jail since her arrest. She’s being held on a $100,000 cash only bond, which a judge upheld Friday.

Since Omaree’s death, Governor Martinez says ordered CYFD to review its prior contact with Varela-Casaus to see if case agents followed all proper rules and procedure.

That investigation is ongoing.

This case has prompted the governor to take a closer look at child abuse legislation this session. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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