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Texas woman accused of killing Austin mom, kidnapping baby to plead guilty

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The woman accused of killing an Austin friend and kidnapping her 3-week-old baby in December 2019 is expected to enter a guilty plea during her next court appearance on Jan. 31, her attorneys told KXAN Tuesday.

In exchange for the plea agreement, the attorneys for Magen Fieramusca said they expect a sentence of 55 years in prison.

Fieramusca was charged with capital murder in January 2020 in the death of Heidi Broussard.

“I imagine many have questions that will never be adequately answered, nevertheless, I hope that this plea brings some closure to this family’s great loss,” Fieramusca’s attorney wrote in a statement.

The Defense and Prosecution have come to a negotiated agreement, and we expect a sentence of 55 years in prison from the Court this coming Tuesday, 1/31. As charged, Ms. Fieramusca was looking at life without the possibility of parole. After considerable discussion, in conjunction with significant compelling mitigation related to Ms. Fieramusca and the possible appellate issues related to the search of her residence, both parties feel that this is the appropriate resolution. I imagine many have questions that will never be adequately answered, nevertheless, I hope that this plea brings some closure to this family’s great loss.

Brian Erskine, Fieramusca’s defense attorney

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement to KXAN “the plea is conditioned on Ms. Fieramusca receiving a sentence of 55 years and waiving her right to appeal.”

“We hope that this outcome brings some closure and allows the Broussard and Carey families to continue their healing process. Our hearts continue to break for them and their immeasurable loss,” the statement reads.

Heidi Broussard reported missing

According to an arrest affidavit, surveillance cameras near Broussard’s apartment showed a car resembling Fieramusca’s driving toward the rear of the complex, around 9 a.m. on Dec. 12, the same day the two disappeared. Records from Fieramusca’s cell phone also pinpoint her in the area.

The father of Broussard’s child said he returned home that afternoon to find Broussard’s car was still in the parking lot and the front door was unlocked, which he said wasn’t unusual. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, he told police. Later, when he picked up his son from after school activities around 5:50 p.m., he said he expected to see Broussard but did not, the affidavit stated.

Carey realized Broussard’s purse was in her unlocked car back at the apartment and noticed she hadn’t taken anything to care for their newborn, the affidavit said. He called friends and family to try to find her and finally called police around 7:31 p.m.

Police went on a week-long search for Broussard and her baby, including sending an Amber Alert after the two disappeared in 2019. On Dec. 20, 2019, Texas State Troopers and Texas Rangers approached a home where Fieramusca lived.

Broussard was found dead in the trunk of a car near a home in Jersey Village. Broussard’s baby, who was three weeks old at the time, was found alive in good condition.

The affidavit states, “Magen Fieramusca presented Heidi Broussard’s Newborn Child as her own to her boyfriend.”

Fieramusca told authorities she had the baby at a birthing center in The Woodlands. When Texas Rangers asked about the birthing center, Fieramusca said she couldn’t remember the name of the center, the affidavit said.

Complete coverage of the case

Fieramusca’s sentence

Fieramusca is expected to receive a 55-year sentence at her next court appearance on Tuesday, Jan. 31.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice FY 2021 Statistical Report, the most recent publication, all incarcerated individuals who were released on parole served an average of 52.6% of their total sentence. For violent offenses, individuals served 67.8% of the sentence before parole.

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