AUSTIN, Texas - It’s day 2 of Meagan Work’s punishment hearing in a Travis County courtroom.
Work pleaded guilty this summer to charges related to the death of her two-year-old little boy Colton Turner back in 2014. Now her fate is in the hands of Judge David Wahlberg.
She’s facing up to life in prison.
The morning started out with an Austin Police Detective walking the court through the grim details of finding and excavating Colton Turner’s shallow grave in southeast Austin.
Work’s boyfriend, Michael Turner, was not Colton’s real father, led law enforcement to the burial site. Judge David Whalberg advised anyone in the courtroom who might be affected by the disturbing images to step out.
The detective says the excavation was a large operation and investigators were meticulous but very respectful of what they thought was underneath the dirt, sheetrock and blanket. As for the mood on scene...he described it as “completely silent.”
Next on the stand, the president of a lab where Michael Turner did handy-man work. He testified Meagan and Colton often hung out in Michael’a truck while he worked on the property. It was hot so he invited them inside. Both this witness and one of his employees testified to Colton being more subdued than a typical child of his age...often seen sitting in a chair with his head down while his mother was on the phone.
The employee testified she tried to bring Colton water but Meagan wouldn't allow it because quote “he would pee.” She says she thought Meagan was a “horrible mother.”
Both witnesses reported seeing bruises on Colton. When news broke of his disappearance the lab employee cried as she remembered immediately suspecting Meagan’s involvement and searching behind the lab checking to make sure Colton’s body wasn't buried there.
Meagan Work’s biological sister also took the stand. At this point the court was shown photos of marks on Colton’s head. And one of Meagan and Colton that she worried showed bruising on the mother and son.
Meagan’s sister's testimony ended with a recounting of their troubled childhood. She and Meagan being sexually assaulted by drug dealers while their parents were high. Stealing groceries to survive and going from foster home to foster home.
The final witness of the day: a man who says he saw a woman hitting a little boy, shaking him like a ragdoll and slamming his head against a truck door. He later identified them as Meagan and Colton and called police.
The hearing resumes Wednesday morning. It’s expected to last until Thursday.