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Texas Woman Pleads Guilty To Murdering Church Camp Friend To Steal Her Baby
Magen Fieramusca pleaded guilty to killing to killing her friend Heidi Broussard in an effort to steal a newborn baby to pass off as her own.
A Texas woman accused of strangling her church camp friend to death with a leash in order to steal the woman’s newborn to pass off as her own struck a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid a life sentence.
Magen Fieramusca, 37, pleaded guilty to the murder of Heidi Broussard, 33, prosecutors announced on Thursday. As part of a plea deal, Fieramusca’s capital murder charge was downgraded to first-degree murder and a charge of kidnapping was dropped. She was sentenced to 50 years in prison.
Broussard gave birth to a daughter, Margot Carey, on Nov. 26, 2019 but both vanished on Dec. 12 after Broussard dropped her older son off at school, Oxygen.com previously reported. Her fiancé, Shane Carey, reported them missing to the Austin Police Department later that day, after he found Broussard's car outside their apartment with all of her belongings — including her daughter's diaper bag — still inside, NBC News reported.
The Texas mother’s decomposing body was discovered in the trunk of Fieramusca's car in Houston a week later, KTRK-TV reported. Little Margot was found in Fieramusca's house; the killer's ex-boyfriend, Christopher Green, allegedly told police that Fieramusca told him she'd given birth to the baby while he was out of town on Dec. 12, Oxygen.com previously reported.
Fieramusca was arrested after the discovery of Broussard's body and Margot in her home and charged with two counts of kidnapping and tampering with a human corpse. Police used DNA to identify Margot and return her to her family on Dec. 23, CNN reported. A grand jury indicted Fieramusca on capital murder and kidnapping charges on Jan. 28, 2020.
Prosecutors said that Fieramusca killed her friend as part of a bizarre baby-stealing plot. Officials said she first went to extreme lengths to fake her own pregnancy, fooling loved ones — including her ex-boyfriend — with a seemingly burgeoning stomach.
She also deepened her long-standing friendship with Broussard, suggesting the two might give birth on the same day, getting a key to her friend and Carey's home and attending the birth of Margot, KTRK reported. Broussard told her fiancé that Fieramusca had delivered on Dec. 8 or 8, he told authorities, but they'd not yet seen pictures.
Instead, prosecutors alleged that Fieramusca surprised Broussard on Dec. 12, choking her to death with a dog leash and her hands, stashing her body in the trunk of her car and taking off with Margot to pass off as her own.
As part of her plea agreement in the murder, Fieramusca has waived her right to appeal. Her lawyers, however, characterized the accused Texas woman’s plea deal as a legal victory.
“As charged, Ms. Fieramusca was looking at life without the possibility of parole,” her lawyer, Brian Erskine said in a statement cited by Law&Crime. “After considerable discussion, in conjunction with significant compelling mitigation related to Ms. Fieramusca and the possible appellate issues related to the search of her residence, both parties feel that this is the appropriate resolution."
"I imagine many have questions that will never be adequately answered," he added. "I hope that this plea brings some closure to this family’s great loss.”
Travis County District Attorney José Garza also welcomed the plea agreement, noting the deal would spare Broussard’s family the pain of a potentially lengthy criminal trial.
"We are hopeful that this outcome will bring some closure to the Broussard and Carey families and help them continue their healing process," Travis County District Attorney José Garza said in a statement. "This outcome will save the families from having to endure the difficult post-conviction litigation process."
Oxygen.com has reached out to Erskine for further comment.