The childhood friend of Texas mom Heidi Broussard allegedly strangled the woman with a leash in order to kidnap her newborn baby, local officials claimed while announcing a murder charge against Magen Fieramusca.
Fieramusca, 34, was charged with capital murder following a grand jury indictment Tuesday, January 28, NBC News reported. Fieramusca is accused of asphyxiating Heidi Broussard by “ligature strangulation, with a leash and with her hand," according to the indictment obtained by local newspaper the Austin American-Statesman.
The woman allegedly strangled Broussard, 33, on Dec. 12 as part of a plot to kidnap Broussard's infant daughter, Margo Carey, the Travis County District Attorney's Office said in a press release.
Broussard's decomposing body was discovered stuffed into a duffle bag in the trunk of a car belonging to Fieramusca on Dec. 19, KSAT-TV reported. Margo was found unharmed in Fieramusca's home by authorities.
Authorities believe Fieramusca pretended to be pregnant at the same time as Broussard, and even attended Margo’s birth – later attempting to pass off Margot as her own baby to her boyfriend after allegedly killing her friend, NBC reported. Friends and family were apparently shocked by the charges, as Fieramusca and Broussard had been friends for years, ever since meeting at a church camp decades ago.
"I want to look at her straight in the eyes and ask her why?" Broussard's fiancé, Shane Carey previously stated. "That's all I want to say. There's no reason for any of this. I believe somebody talked her into it. I mean, from knowing Magen, I would never imagine it."
"I'm mad, I mean I'm so mad I could take her down right now," Heidi's mother, Tammy Broussard, told CBS Austin about the murder charge. "But I'm also sad."
"I wasn't surprised at all, because I knew she did it," she continued. "I just don't understand why she did it."
Fieramusca's attorney Brian Erskine said that the state of Texas has not disclosed the evidence against his client, according to a statement obtained by CNN.
"Exculpatory and mitigating evidence has a shelf-life, and too many individuals in our criminal justice system have been delayed or denied this information," Erskine said. "We cannot act to fairly and vigorously represent our Client when we start defending her with our hands tied and eyes blindfolded. Justice ought to be blind, not the defense."
Fieramusca's bond has been set at $1 million for the murder charge, the district attorney's office announced.
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