Heidi Broussard murder: Magen Fieramusca appears in court

Magen Fieramusca appeared in court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing in the murder of her friend, Heidi Broussard and the kidnapping of her newborn Margo Carey in 2019.

Fieramusca was indicted in January 2020 on charges of capital murder and kidnapping in connection with the death of 33-year-old Broussard.

Broussard and her daughter Margo were reported missing from the Austin area in December 2019 after Broussard dropped off her 6-year-old son at Cowan Elementary School. Police said Broussard and her baby returned home, where their belongings were found, before disappearing. 

APD Sgt Brad Herries spent much of the day being questioned about how investigators tracked Fieramusca to a house in Houston after identifying her as the prime suspect. Herries testified that authorities entered the home, without a search warrant, after showing Chris Green, Fieramusca’s former boyfriend, a picture of baby Margo. 

Texas Ranger Christopher Rainwater, who spoke with Green, testified that Green said the picture shown to him looked like the baby in the house that he shared with Fieramusca. A video of the interview played in court with Green raising concerns about the child’s safety with Fieramusca. He is heard telling law enforcement officers, "go get that baby, what are y’all waiting for?"

When officers made entry, shortly after 1 p.m. on December 19th, they found Margo alive. They later discovered Heidi’s body in the trunk of a car parked outside. A search warrant was not approved until around 8:30 later that evening. Because of the time difference, the admissibility of the evidence recovered is being challenged.  

Austin attorney Steve Toland, who is not involved in the case, talked to FOX7 about the defense tactic. "As a general rule, we all like it and prefer when people follow the rules because the rules exist to make sure everyone's rights are protected," said Toland.

Herries testified they believed baby Margo had jaundice and that based on the information he had, the situation could be life-threatening, one of the reasons why they didn’t wait for a search warrant.

Fieramusca, who was known to also go by the last name Humphrey, was a 'close friend' of Heidi's. They met while attending the Texas Bible Institute in Columbus, Texas. Magen and Heidi would speak regularly on the phone, according to Heidi's boyfriend Shane Carey. 

An arrest affidavit released in 2020 detailed how officials learned about Fieramusca during the course of their investigation. The affidavit said Shane Carey was under the impression that Magen and Heidi had become pregnant at the same time in 2019, and that he had seen her holding her hands to her apparently pregnant stomach, appearing to support the weight of her unborn child. 

Investigators have raised questions about whether Fieramusca faked her pregnancy. They have listed a motive for the kidnapping and murder on what profilers classified as "maternal desire." The hearing is expected to continue Friday.

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