A Texas woman was sentenced to 55 years behind bars after pleading guilty to murdering her “best friend” in a depraved scheme to abduct her newborn baby and pass the infant off as her own.
Magen Rose Fieramusca, 37, kidnapped and killed her pal Heidi Broussard, 33, in Austin on Dec. 12, 2019, stuffed her body in a duffel bag and placed it in the trunk of a car at the home where she lived with her ex-boyfriend, Christopher Green, near Houston.
She murdered Broussard by “ligature strangulation, with a leash and with her hand,” according to the indictment.
The victim’s 3-week-old daughter, Margot, was found unharmed inside Fieramusca’s home and was later returned to her dad, Broussard’s fiancé, Shane Carey.
Fieramusca’s capital murder charge was reduced to first-degree murder as part of a plea deal in which she also waived her right to appeal, according to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
“We are hopeful that this outcome will bring some closure to the Broussard and Carey families and help them continue their healing process,” DA José Garza said in a statement.
“This outcome will save the families from having to endure the difficult post-conviction litigation process. We are grateful to our prosecutors and law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly on this case and secured justice for the victim’s families and our community,” he added, Fox 7 Austin reported.
Fieramusca had initially been charged only with kidnapping and tampering, according to an arrest affidavit that indicated she faked her own pregnancy for months and planned to pass off her friend’s newborn as her own.
She was later hit with a capital murder charge.
The two women had been pals since they met at a church camp when they were 11 years old, according to reports.
At one point, Fieramusca had a key to Broussard’s apartment, and the women discussed being pregnant together — even considering they might give birth on the same day, according to court documents.
Carey told investigators that Broussard told him that Fieramusca had given birth to a baby girl, but he never saw any photos of the child.
Fieramusca later told police she went to the beach with a cousin on the day Broussard was abducted — and that when Green saw her the next day, she told him, “Don’t be mad, don’t be mad,” KXAN reported.
When he asked why, Fieramusca told him she went to a birthing center and had the child, according to the affidavit.
Green said that Fieramusca’s stomach had grown, but due to their rocky relationship, he never saw her bare stomach, according to police.
Police saw Green buying baby formula a few weeks after Broussard went missing and when they showed him a flier of Margot, he said, “That’s the baby in my house,” the affidavit states, KXAN reported.
Fieramusca told investigators she had given birth but was unable to provide specifics of her delivery.
On Thursday, Broussard’s mother Tammy Broussard told the court: “She’s forever strong in the midst of all the people’s lives she touched. And she’ll live on forever.
“This is something I never imagined in my whole life, me and my husband. She was just so much fun and so full of life, and now it’s been taken from her,” she said, Fox 7 Austin reported.
“Heidi’s hugs were strong, full of love. They lingered in the atmosphere. I still feel them now. She loved beyond measure, and she never gave up on anywhere. When I think of her, which is every moment, in everything I do, I ask what would Heidi do? It gives me comfort,” Tammy added.
Travis County District Court Judge Selena Alvarenga told a tearful Fieramusca: “It is difficult, if not impossible, to find justice for this horrendous crime. You have deprived an innocent child — an innocent baby — of the opportunity of growing up with her mother.”
She added: “You have destroyed an entire family. And no matter what the sentence, no matter how long, no matter how harsh, nothing can change that, nothing can make this family whole again.”
With Post Wires