Michael Turner will serve 20-years in prison for his role in the death of his girlfriend's two-year-old son.
Investigators say Turner lead them to a grave where he and the boy’s mother Meagan Work buried Colton Turner's body in 2014.
Kim Vidaure, grandmother of slain two year old Colton Turner, called the boy's father-figure Micheal Turner a heartless monster in court Friday morning.
Turner hung his head as Vidaure tearfully described life without the boy.
Outside the courtroom her sister Diane Battles echoed her sentiment.
"[Colton] was just so full of life and his life was cut short because of Mike and Meagan. They're monsters,” said Battles.
Investigators say Turner helped Colton's mother Meagan Work bury the child, unearth him and bury him again in July of 2014.
The day before his alleged death, a co-worker of Turner's told police he saw Work strike Colton multiple times, slam his head against a door of turner's truck and throw him into the back seat.
Turner lead officers to the body after concerned family members alerted police to Colton's absence. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.
On Friday, Turner agreed to a plea deal. Two counts of tampering with physical evidence and one count of reckless injury to a child by omission.
He will serve 20 years.
The family did not support that decision.
"We don't want him out in 20 years, he will still be young, he can still carry on with his life Colton can't,” said Battles.
Turner's attorney says his client is remorseful.
"He was genuinely upset during the time of the plea, but especially during the time of the elocution. I think when [Vidaure] spoke eloquently about what she would miss about Colton Turner I think that hit home with him. And I think he's been living with that since that time. That he knows he is basically the surrogate father to Colton Turner. He will miss those life experiences with Colton turn too,” said attorney Steve Brand.
Now that Turner has been convicted he can be called to testify in Work's trial. She too is charged with injury to a child and tampering with physical evidence.
While the family feels Turner did not get the punishment he deserved, they hope his time to think will be punishing.
"We hope that Mike, while he is there for 20 years, we hope he thinks about why he is there and we hope he is reminded every day of what he did to Colton, what he's put Colton's family through. It's very tough and he needs to find the lord while he's in there because where he's going he's going to need him,” said Battles.
Turner does get credit for time served. That means he could be eligible for parole in three years. The family says they will fight that.
Meagan Work is due in court next Friday for a pre-trial hearing on her injury to a child and tampering with evidence charges.
Michael Turner will serve 20 years in prison for his role in the death of Colton Turner. Michael plead guilty this morning to helping the boy's mother Meagan Work bury Colton's body in Southeast Austin in July 2014.
Michael hung his head as one of Colton's aunts called him a heartless monster during victim testimony. Michael was then escorted away to serve his time.
Michael waived his right to a trial and pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with physical evidence as police say he admitted to transporting and burying Colton twice.
Michael also pleaded guilty to one count of second degree reckless injury to a child by omission. That is a lesser charge than the initial first degree injury to a child.
Prosecutors offered the plea deal to Michael's attorney on Monday. The family did not support that decision. Michael will serve the maximum of 20 years for each charge concurrently or all at once.
Colton's great aunt Diane Battle says, "It was very tough having to listen that he only got 20 years. But he has to face another judge and we know Colton will get his justice then. And we hope that Mike, while he is there for 20 years, we hope he thinks about why he is there and he is reminded every day of what he did to Colton, what he's put Colton's family through. It's very tough and he needs to find the lord while he's in there because where he's going he's going to need him."
Michael's attorney Steve Brand says, "Colton meant the world to him, continues to meet the world to him. So, I wish that with an explanation that we could come forward to you on why everything happened the way it did. Unfortunately there's just not."
Michael Turner will get credit for time served, about one and half years. Therefore he will be eligible for parole in three years. The family says they will fight that.
Meagan Work is due in court next Friday for her charges of tampering with physical evidence and injury to a child.