A Texas Appeal Court has overturned a Travis County Judge's ruling in the case against Colton Turner's mother, Meagan Work.
In October, Work's attorney's argued that her confession should be thrown out because she was detained illegally in the days before the toddler's body was found. Judge David Wahlberg sided with the defense. He ruled to suppress the statements she made to law enforcement while they were searching for her son in September 2014.
The Travis County District Attorney's office appealed the decision. In the brief written by Texas' Third Court of Appeals, the panel of three judges ruled the warrant less arrest was not illegal. The brief also says in par, "the undisputed facts and circumstances—that Work lied to the police officers about C.T.’s location when they were investigating his status as a missing, and possibly injured, child—gave the officers probable cause to believe that Work had committed the offense of false report regarding a missing child."
In a statement only given to Fox 7's Elizabeth Saab, Colton's Great Aunt Raquel Helfrich says, "I appreciate the court of appeals recognizing the efforts of Meagan's defense team to subvert transparency in this case and for doing their part to give Colton the Justice he deserves."
During the 2015 legislative session, Helfrich and family friend Liz St. Clair fought to pass legislation to protect children who, like Colton fall off of CPS' radar. The two say they hope to head back to the Capitol during the upcoming session to help strengthen the law. Helfrich also added to her statement on the Court of Appeals' ruling, saying on behalf of herself and St. Clair:
"Time and again it seems murderers and abusers like Meagan, their attorneys, the DAs, courts, and legislators manipulate the system by putting their own interests above justice, which in turn dismantles the full opportunity to seek justice for these helpless, voiceless children who suffer unspeakable hell on Earth. When we fought for Colton's Law, it was our intention to protect these children by having state law enforcement find them before it's too late. The law that passed the House before it was altered in the Senate is common sense. And at every level would prevent these senseless acts from happening. It is vital that during this upcoming legislative session, our lawmakers join forces once and for all to empower state law enforcement to find children who like Colton fall off of CPS' radar. Show Texas' most vulnerable children that they are a priority. So that kids like Colton can be protected from abuse and obtain justice in our courts for the crimes committed against them."
Work is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on December 20. Her attorneys could not be reached for comment regarding the Appeals Court's decision.