AUSTIN, Texas - Colton Turner's mother Meagan Work and her boyfriend Michael Turner appeared for the first time in court Monday. The two are charged in connection with the two-year-old toddler's death, police say they buried him in a shallow grave in Southeast Austin.
The toddler's family was ushered into and out of the courtroom, and sat in the front row.
Meagan Work had a smirk on her face when she was brought in and out of the courtroom. In an exclusive interview with FOX 7 after the hearing, two of Colton's Great Aunts, Diane Battles and Raquel Helfrich, talked about the anger they felt.
"The way she looked in the court room today, she feels like she's done nothing wrong. You could tell by the smile on her face," says Colton's Great Aunt Diane Battles.
Work did not acknowledge her own family (including her Aunt Raquel Helfrich) who was in the front row or Colton's father and his family. All were seated together.
"The fact that she could do all of that and not have any regard at all for what she did to Colton," says Helfrich,"it's infuriating to watch considering what he went through."
Work and Michael Turner were both in court for a pretrial hearing. Both clad in a prison jumpsuit and handcuffs, they appeared separately.
The pair were there for what's called a status check as they've both been behind bars for about six months. Neither have been formally arraigned yet.
The state's prosecutor told Judge David Wahlberg there is yet more evidence that needs to be turned over to both defense teams. The Judge set the next hearing for May 11, which is coincidentally Meagan Work's birthday.
Helfrich says that is fitting.
"That's exactly what she should get for her birthday and the punishment that she's got coming," she said.
Could a deal be looming though?
Prosecutors spoke to Colton Turner's father and grandmother before the hearing. They talked about an amount of time that might be enough to offer Work and Turner in exchange for a plea.
"I keep telling myself that they keep setting it back because they need to be able to charge her and sentence her to the max," says Battles.
From the bench Judge Wahlberg said if there is a trial, it will likely start in December.
The charges against Work and Michael Turner were upgraded when police say a witness came forward to say he saw Work slam her son's head against a truck they were both in. That head injury is what police believe caused his death. It's not clear if there is surveillance video from the area but that could be part of the evidence that prosecutors were referring to.
"We will fight until justice is served for Colton, the justice that he deserves," says Battles.
Helfrich echoes the sentiment, vowing that justice will also come from the State Capitol with HB2053, also known as "Colton's Law."
Colton's Law is the first step toward that for us for Colton's family," she said.
That bill unanimously passed through the House Committee on Juvenile Justice and Family Issues last Wednesday. It will now move to the full house floor for a vote.