A Texas woman facing murder and related charges appeared in court Thursday morning for a pretrial hearing ahead of her upcoming murder trial.
The hearing was held at the Travis County court in Austin on Tuesday, in connection with capital charges against Magen Fieramusca, who stands accused of killing her friend, Heidi Broussard, in 2019, then kidnapping her newborn daughter.
Fieramusca, 36, is also charged with tampering with evidence. She’s been behind bars since December 2019, awaiting trial. Her bond is $1.6 million.
The defendant’s lawyers argued on Thursday that investigators never obtain a search warrant before searching the property where Broussard’s body was found in December 2019.
*Note: No audio was allowed at the hearing, but local station KVUE released footage of the defendant walking into court.*
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Fieramusca allegedly lured her childhood friend, Heidi, into her car before killing her and taking her baby.
Police say Broussard and her newborn infant, Margo, left willingly with Fieramusca on December 12, 2019, after the defendant showed up at Broussard’s Austin apartment complex. At some point after, according to prosecutors, Fieramusca strangled Broussard to death with a leash and her hands, then kidnapped Margo.
Fieramusca was initially arrested on kidnapping and tampering with evidence charges. Her charges were upgraded to capital murder in January 2020.
Court documents obtained by CrimeOnline indicate that Fieramusca said that she, too, was pregnant during the same time Broussard announced her pregnancy in 2019.
It was all a ruse according to Austin police, who allege that Fieramusca was never pregnant.
According to the affidavit, Fieramusca started acting “suspiciously” shortly after baby Margot’s birth in November. Fieramusca, who had known Broussard since they were children, was at St. David’s South Austin Hospital for Margo’s birth, allegedly exhibiting odd behavior.
The baby’s grandfather told police that Fieramusca interrupted him while he was being introduced to Margot. Fieramusca apparently wanted to be the first one to hold the newborn.
“Shane Carey’s father was surprised by the actions of Magen Fieramusca and that his first introduction and time with his grandchild was interrupted by a friend of Heidi’s,” police said in the affidavit.
Fieramusca, who stayed at Broussard’s apartment when Margo was born, had a key to Broussard’s Austin residence that she shared with her fiance, Shane Carey. According to Carey, Fieramusca promised to leave the apartment key on a counter, yet she never did.
Broussard and her baby, Margo, disappeared from their Austin home on December 12, 2019. Travis County authorities said that Fieramusca abducted both Broussard and Margo.
A neighbor who lived at the same Austin apartment complex as Broussard told police that she saw two women talking outside around the time Broussard disappeared, on December 12. The neighbor said one of the women had a baby in her arms.
She witnessed the woman with an infant walking toward a parked car, where she greeted another woman. Both women and the infant then got into the car. The car then drove away.
On December 19, 2019, authorities showed the neighbor a lineup photo of Fieramusca. The neighbor said that she was “60% to 70%” sure that the photo matched the woman she saw in the parking lot.
Further, authorities found video evidence that placed Fieramusca’s car near Broussard’s home on the day Broussard vanished, according to the affidavit.
Data obtained from T-Mobile by investigators showed that Fieramusca’s phone was in Austin on December 12, near Carey and Broussard’s apartment complex.
Law enforcement determined that Fieramusca lived in Houston, and while surveying her home, they noticed that Fieramusca parked her car in the backyard. It appeared as if Fieramusca was trying to hide her vehicle, according to investigators.
*Previous Video Coverage: Nancy Grace talks death penalty in Heidi Broussard case*
Fieramusca also carried out questionable internet searches on December 12, 2019, the affidavit states, including searches for “reasons for Amber Alert” and “Amber alert issued Austin.” From November 11 to December 18, someone under Fieramusca’s account name used an electronic device to search for “Heidi Broussard” over 160 times.
On December 14, 2019, someone using the same device searched for “bodies found in Austin Texas.”
Investigators said they spoke to a man, Christopher Green, who lived in the Houston residence with Fieramusca. Green said the suspect was his ex-girlfriend, but they still lived together.
Green, according to the affidavit, told investigators that Fieramusca said she was pregnant with his child, but he admitted that he never saw her bare stomach during the months she was supposedly pregnant.
Fieramusca allegedly told Green that she gave birth to a girl while he was out of town working.
When Texas Ranger Gary Phillips spoke to Fieramusca on December 19, she claimed that she had given birth in The Woodlands at a birthing center. She allegedly claimed she couldn’t remember the exact name of the birthing center.
Police found baby Margo alive and well inside the Houston residence, sitting in a baby swing.
Fieramusca allegedly insisted that the baby was hers. Hospital records, however, reportedly confirmed Margo’s identity, according to her grandfather, Ty Carey. Margo is now back with her father, Shane Carey.
Investigators alleged that Fieramusca kidnapped Broussard’s infant, Margo, then attempted to pass her off as her own. When police showed a man living with Fieramusca a photo of Margot, the man allegedly claimed that the baby was at his home.
“That’s the baby at my house,” the man said.
While at the residence, Phillips noticed the “unmistakable odor of decomposing flesh.” Authorities obtained a warrant to search the property. They found Broussard’s body stuffed into the trunk of Fieramusca’s Nissan Versa, the affidavit read.
“Magen Fieramusca abducted Heidi Broussard by restraining her and preventing her liberation by holding her in a place where she was not likely to be found; specifically inside a black duffel bag in the trunk of a parked vehicle.”
Fieramusca could possibly face death if convicted, although prosecutors have not yet said whether they’ll seek the death penalty.
Check back for updates.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Here is a previous episode on the case.
[Feature Photo: Magen Fieramusca/Police Handout & Heidi Broussard & Margo/Handout]