AUSTIN, Texas - A plea deal is in the works for a long running Travis County child abduction case. The negotiation was announced Tuesday during a pre-trial hearing for Dara Llorens, the mother of Sabrina Allen.
The Tuesday morning hearing was closed to cameras. Llorens appeared much the same as she did during her first court hearing in October. What's new for Llorens is her attorney Brad Urrutia. After the hearing, Urrutia said his client has not spoken with her daughter Sabrina since authorities brought them back to the U.S. last year.
"She absolutely wants to talk to her daughter, they spent the last 12 years together and they're close and of course she wants to talk to her, what mother wouldn't?" Urrutia says.
Travis County prosecutors confirmed in court Tuesday they are drafting a plea deal for Llorens to consider. Specific details have not yet been pitched but the issue of visitation could make or break any potential deal.
"Why I think any plea agreement that would be acceptable to us would be one that doesn't involve her being restricted to seeing her child," Urrutia says.
Sabrina Allen was four-years-old when she was taken to Mexico by her mother, who did not have custody. Sabrina was reunited with her father, Greg Allen, after a decade long search. Private investigator Phil Klein, who helped locate Sabrina and is still working with the Allen family, reacted by phone to the idea of visitation as part of a plea deal.
"I think everybody is going to say let's take it to trial … I think this child needs space, away from her mother, I think her mother needs serious psychological help … If she can do that, than I'm sure she will be reunified, but right now this little girl needs space to recover," Klein says.
Before fleeing to Mexico with Sabrina, Llorens accused Greg of being abusive. A judge rejected that claim years ago but the accusation is expected to re-emerge if there is a trial.
Sabrina is about to turn 18 and that could factor into any plea deal. Meanwhile Klein says Sabrina continues to adjust being back home.
"She is doing very well with her father and the extended family. They have come back together, as a family, and it's a continual work in progress," Klein says.
Klein told FOX 7 that Sabrina is slowly coming to grips that her life for the past 12 years was based on a lie. The next hearing for Dara Llorens is set for late March.