ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque mother pleaded guilty in the brutal death of her son and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Synthia Varela-Casaus was sentenced Friday for kicking her 9-year-old son, Omaree Varela, to death in 2013.
Varela-Casaus pleaded guilty to six counts, including 2nd-degree murder.
Varela-Casaus sobbed throughout her sentencing.
During her arrest in 2013, Varela-Casaus told news cameras, “I was disciplining him and I kicked him the wrong way, it was an accident.”
Now two and-a-half years later, she sat in court crying as her own sister addressed that statement.
“To hear the words that my sister said, ‘I kicked him the wrong way,'” Sylvia Marquez, Varela-Casaus’ sister, told the judge through tears, “How can my sister do this?”
Omaree’s death shocked the state. An autopsy found he died from severe internal bleeding caused by blunt-force trauma.
Marquez said she’s since adopted Omaree’s two younger siblings, and told the court how much they still suffer.
“They ask, ‘Auntie, can’t Omaree be fixed? Can’t God or the doctors fix him?”
Marquez said Omaree’s 7-year-old sister talks about the emotional and physical abuse the kids endured.
“She talks about her brother, Omaree, that he was screaming for help,” Marquez cried. She said Omaree’s little sister tells her, “‘Auntie, I just want to hug him so bad it hurts!'”
Omaree’s aunt asked the judge to hold her sister accountable.
Omaree’s little sister spoke for herself, in a letter read to the judge.
“Mom is not a good person to me because she hurt my brother,” the 7-year-old girl wrote. “I am scared that mom might see me. I hope mom stays in jail for that I can be safe with my other mom.”
Before the judge read her sentence, Omaree’s mother addressed the court.
“None of this was supposed to happen,” Varela-Casaus sobbed. “It didn’t happen the way it’s out there.”
“I love my kids, and I thank my sister for taking care of them and raising them,” said Varela-Casuas. “There’s nothing more that I can ask for from them.”
Judge Brett Loveless sentenced Varela-Casaus to 40 years in prison.
Omaree’s step-dad, Steve Casaus, was sentenced in November to 30 years for his role in Omaree’s death.
Synthia Varela-Casaus’ attorney told KRQE News 13 last week that his client didn’t want to put her young daughter through another trial.
Varela-Casaus faced as little as 15 years in prison and as much as 45.
She originally tried to claim she was incompetent to stand trial.
Friday, Judge Loveless told Varela-Casaus she is not to have contact with her kids or their guardians while in prison or on probation.
“It was a very good outcome,” said Wes Jensen, Prosecutor on behalf of the state. “It protects the child the two surviving siblings in two ways; they’re safe, and they can finally hopefully get that feeling of comfort that every child should have.”