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Father charged with capital murder in infant daughter’s death testifies

UPDATE August 21, 11:38 a.m. -- Closing arguments are underway. The jury is expected to begin deliberating this afternoon.

Stay tuned to ABC-7 at 5 and 6 for the latest information.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA)- The jury in the Capital Murder trial of Jose Varela heard from the defendant Friday, during day 4 of the highly-watched trial.

Jose Varela told the court that he did not kill his baby Velma in 2017.

Varela testified that on the Sunday before his daughter's death, he was watching her so his wife, who was suffering from postpartum depression, could get some rest.

He said the baby was fussy, crying a lot, and not drinking as much milk as she normally did.

Varela said he had fed the baby at around 3 a.m. and changed her diaper, when he decided to set her down in her chair. He said he noticed that she was agitated, and breathing as if she was tired. But Varela said the baby eventually calmed down and went to sleep.

He said it wasn't until early the next morning when he went to check on her that he noticed she was pale, cold to the touch, and not moving.

He said he alerted his wife, and his step daughter called 911.

Varela told the court that his did not hurt his baby, and doesn't know how she got the skull fracture that killed her.

Closing arguments are set to get underway in the case Monday, followed by jury deliberations.

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Leloba Seitshiro

Leloba Seitshiro reports on ABC-7 at 5 and 6 p.m. weekdays.


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