Heidi Broussard murder: Preliminary hearings continue

A Houston woman accused of killing a South Austin mother and abducting her newborn daughter appeared in a Travis County courtroom Friday for a preliminary hearing.

Magen Fieramusca is accused of killing her longtime friend Heidi Broussard "on or around" Dec. 12, 2019, and abducting her newborn daughter Margo Carey.

A witness reported seeing the women "lovingly embrace" and get into a silver or gray car together.

One week later several law enforcement agencies — the Texas Department of Public Safety, FBI and Austin Police Department entered Fieramusca’s boyfriend’s Harris County residence. They recovered baby Margo unharmed, discovered Broussard’s body in the trunk of a silver car, and arrested Fieramusca.

Law enforcement entered the residence without a warrant. Friday, several Texas Rangers and one Austin Police Officer testified they did so because they had reason to believe Margo was inside the home and in danger.

"In Texas we have a myriad of warrantless exceptions to the searches. And so it's going to depend on what's called the exigency of it? So certainly an emergency, right? A baby being in danger… you'd want to, as a defense lawyer, attack the validity of the emergency," explained criminal defense attorney Steve Toland, who is not affiliated with the case.

Friday, each law enforcement officer testified that they rescued the child and secured the property – but waited for a warrant to initiate a search.

In Austin Police Sgt. Patrick Eastlick’s body camera video, a Texas Ranger can be heard telling other law enforcement officers "once it’s cleared everybody else get the f— out of the house because it’s a crime scene."

Fieramusca's defense attorneys pointed out that Texas Ranger Eric Lopez started a crime scene log at 1:25 p.m. that day. He submitted photos to evidence that were taken in bright sunlight. However, a search warrant was not secured until 8:53 p.m. Sunset in Houston was 5:26 p.m.

Lopez maintained that it would be "inappropriate" to search inside or outside the home without a warrant.

Final arguments and a ruling will be made on the motion on April 28 at 9 a.m. in Travis County. 

Heidi Broussard murder: Magen Fieramusca appears in court
First court hearing for woman charged in connection to death of Heidi Broussard
Court date for 'close friend' of murdered Austin mother moved to February
Magen Fieramusca indicted in connection with death of Heidi Broussard
Woman charged with kidnapping, tampering with corpse in connection with missing Austin mother, newborn
'Close friend' of missing Austin mother implicated in her death, kidnapping baby
Funeral for Heidi Broussard to be held in Louisiana
FBI specialty child abduction team one of the many units who aided in the search for Austin missing mother and baby
Margo Carey reunited with family just in time for Christmas
Baby Margo to be released from CPS to family, says grandfather at South Austin vigil for Heidi Broussard
APD: DNA testing being done to confirm infant found in Harris County is Margo Carey
Texas mom's friend unwittingly revealed details about suspect during podcast interview as police zeroed in
Affidavit reveals new information on disappearance, murder of Heidi Broussard
Body found in Harris County confirmed to be missing Austin mother
Austin Police Department: No person of interest in search for missing mother, newborn
Community organizes search for missing Austin mother, baby
Boyfriend of missing South Austin woman, baby speaks out
Family of missing Austin woman, newborn pleads for safe return
APD sets up tip line specifically for missing mother, newborn
Austin police asking for help locating missing mom and two-week-old daughter
Austin police searching for missing mother and newborn, boyfriend speaks out
SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter