Donald Bovio will face trail early next year for the beating death of his wife’s three-year-old son.
The Seneca Falls man called 911 on May 12 to report his stepson, Peter Vacchino, fell down the stairs. Doctors later determined the boy’s injuries were inconsistent with a fall. Peter later died at a Syracuse hospital.
Investigators say Bovio beat him with a belt, causing his head to hit a hard floor.
The toddler's mother, Alison Bovio, was present at the time.
Both were charged with second-degree murder, first- and second-degree manslaughter and reckless assault of a child.
Alison Bovio pleaded guilty last week to a manslaughter charge for her role in his death and, as part of the deal, agreed to testify against her husband.
Investigators say there is evidence she was a victim of domestic violence.
Alison Bovio faces between four and 12 years in prison.
Several police investigators who visited the home prior to the couple’s arrest also testified in court Thursday. There are seven hours of recorded conversations that will be admitted as evidence in the trial.
The prosecution plans to call more than two dozen witnesses
It's not yet known if Donald Bovio will take the stand in his own defense.