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Author Topic: Colton Brandt Turner, 2 YO, Last Seen by Others July 2014-Remains found  (Read 35889 times)
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« Reply #120 on: November 20, 2015, 06:42:55 PM »

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/crime-law/prosecutors-file-appeal-in-colton-turner-case/npRw7/
Prosecutors to file appeal in Colton Turner case
November 20, 2015

Prosecutors on Friday filed an notice of appeal against a ruling by a Travis County state judge to suppress evidence in the case of Meagan Work, charged in the death of her 2-year-old son, Colton Turner.

District Judge David Wahlberg in October found officers had unlawfully arrested Work in September 2014, making DNA swabs and most of her statements to authorities inadmissible at her trial. Prosecutors have argued that officers were trying to find a missing boy and were forced to change course as Work gave multiple accounts of his whereabouts.
 
Wahlberg ruled to suppress all of her interviews with law enforcement after she was taken to the Cedar Park Police Department near 11 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2014, until she received medical care just after 1 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2014. The decision came as a blow to the state, as in that time Work gave conflicting stories about Colton’s disappearance and eventually confessed, describing the night she and her boyfriend buried the child’s body in a Southeast Austin field.

In a three-day hearing, defense lawyers argued she was was improperly questioned, put under physical strain and deprived of her right to an attorney.
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« Reply #121 on: February 23, 2016, 08:06:48 PM »

http://kxan.com/2016/02/23/plea-deal-possible-in-colton-turner-case/
Plea deal possible in Colton Turner case
February 23, 2016

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The man who police say had a role in the death of 2-year-old Colton Turner may take a plea deal on Friday.

Michael Turner’s attorney Steve Brand confirms his client has been offered a plea deal, but he cannot specify on what the offer entails. Turner, 31, is currently in the Travis County Jail—where he’s been since September 2014—charged with injury to a child.

According to court documents, Meagan Work, the child’s mother, told police Colton hit his head on an air conditioning unit as the result of an assault in July 2014. He later had what appeared to be a seizure and died. Work told investigators she was afraid she and Turner, who is not the child’s biological father, would get in trouble if they took the toddler to the emergency room.

After several days of searching for the child, Austin police say Turner led them to the boy’s body buried in a field in Southeast Austin on Sept. 12, 2014.

Brand says the deal will go before Judge David Wahlberg on Friday and he expects his client to plead guilty. When asked if the deal would be good for his client, Brand said, “yes.”

Work, 21, is charged with tampering with evidence and injury to a child. Her next court appearance is scheduled for March 4. Last fall, Judge Walhberg ruled to suppress to the bulk of statements made by Work while she was in custody in Williamson County.

Timeline at link
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« Reply #122 on: February 25, 2016, 10:49:48 AM »

http://www.kvue.com/news/local/michael-turner-to-appear-in-court-monday/50642074
No ruling in pre-trial hearing for Michael Turner
February 22, 2016

TRAVIS COUNTY -- Michael Turner -- a man police said is connected to the 2014 death of 2-year-old Colton Turner -- appeared in court Monday in an effort to suppress two interviews he conducted with law officials.

Michael Turner and his then-girlfriend Meagan Work are charged with tampering with physical evidence after police said they admitted to burying the toddler. After police found the missing boy in a shallow grave in southeast Austin, Michael and Work told police that the boy died after suffering from a seizure.

The first interview, in which Turner gave his initial confession, his lawyers argued during the pre-trial hearing that Turner did not fully understand his Miranda rights and was denied the ability to end the interview with a Cedar Park Detective and an FBI Special Agent.

In audio played for the court, Turner can be heard asking, "Can I have a second, please?" FBI Special Agent Justin Noble can be heard responding, "No." Noble testified that he did not believe Turner was asking to terminate the interview, but was simply trying to collect his thoughts.

Turner began his confession immediately following this exchange.

In a separate interview with two Austin Police Department detectives, Turner's lawyers argued that he was misled about his rights.

The judge asked the prosecution and defense for arguments and said he would not come to a ruling Monday.
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« Reply #123 on: February 26, 2016, 08:33:11 PM »

http://kxan.com/2016/02/26/boyfriend-charged-in-colton-turner-case-expected-to-plead-guilty/
Michael Turner pleads guilty for his role in death of Colton Turner
February 26, 2016

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Moments after Michael Turner agreed to plea guilty in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence, he bowed his head and was visibly shaken as Colton Turner’s grandmother told him how much damage he caused in their lives.

“You are a heartless and selfish monster,” said Kim Vidaure. “Whatever part you had in Colton’s death ruined your lives and destroyed mine and my family’s.”

Michael Turner, 31, and his girlfriend Meagan Work were both charged in the death of Meagan’s 2-year-old son Colton. Although Turner was not Colton’s biological father, his attorney said he took on the role of dad and is deeply remorseful for Colton’s death.

When (Vidaure) spoke eloquently about what she’d miss about Colton, that hit home with Michael and I think he’s been living with that since the time Colton died,” said Steve Brand.

Police say Meagan Work changed her stories many times about what happened to Colton but it was Michael who led them to a shallow grave where his body was found. Michael pled guilty to two counts of tampering with evidence stemming from burying Colton’s body before removing him and burying him in a different location. He also pled guilty to 2nd degree Reckless Injury to a Child by Omission, a lesser charge than Intentional Injury to a Child, a 1st degree crime. By agreeing to the lesser charge, Turner avoided a possible sentence of 5-99 years in prison if he were convicted of the first degree felony. Because the crime is “non-aggravated,” he could be eligible for parole in roughly 3 ˝ years.

“But for Michael Turner leading them to the body, I don’t know if they ever find Colton Turner. I hope they give him credit for that,” said Brand.

The 20-year sentence did not sit well with Colton’s grandmother and grand-aunt who reminded the media of the toddler which was lost.
 
Court documents show Turner and Work did not want to take Colton to a hospital after he suffered serious injuries for fears they would be held responsible. The young boy would eventually succumb to those injuries, but Brand said Michael Turner is not accused of actively harming Turner. The charge of Injury to a Child by Omission is because neither he nor Work sought medical help for the boy’s injuries. A decision Brand cannot explain.

“I wish there was an explanation we could come forward with on why things happened the way they did,” Brand said. “Unfortunately there is not.”

Because he has now been convicted, the state can subpoena Michael Turner to testify in the still pending trial of Meagan Work if they so choose. Judge David Wahlberg ruled many statements Work made in investigators is inadmissible, but Michael Turner’s cooperation during the investigation could make him a valuable witness.

According to the internal investigation, there were four Child Protective Service investigations into the allegations that Colton was being abused. Supervisors and case workers failed to follow policy and made many mistakes. Three CPS workers were fired for how they handled the case.
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« Reply #124 on: November 09, 2016, 11:03:03 AM »

http://kxan.com/2016/11/09/mother-charged-in-death-of-2-year-old-son-back-in-court/
Mother charged in death of 2-year-old court date reset
November 9, 2016

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The mother charged in the death of her two-year-old son was expected to be back in court on Wednesday, but her court date has been reset. The new court appearance has not been announced.

Meagan Work is pleading not-guilty to the charges of tampering with evidence and injury to a child. She is accused of injuring her son Colton Turner, which resulted in his death and allegedly led to her burying him in a shallow grave. The toddler was found buried in a field in southeast Austin back in September 2014.

Work’s boyfriend, Michael Turner took a plea deal in February and received 20 years in jail. He will now likely become a key witness for the prosecution since the majority of the testimony Work gave Cedar Park Police and the FBI will not be admissible in court. According to Cedar Park Police Department Lt. Chance Thomas, Work admitted to knowing her son had died, and held the light for Michael Turner as he dug up dirt.

An internal investigation found there were four Child Protective Service investigations into the allegations that Colton was being abused. Supervisors and case workers failed to follow policy and made many mistakes according to officials. Three CPS workers were fired for how they handled the case.
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« Reply #125 on: September 13, 2017, 02:12:30 PM »

http://www.kvue.com/news/local/court-rejects-meagan-works-request-to-have-statements-to-police-tossed-out/474433494
Court rejects Meagan Work's request to have statements to police tossed out
September 13, 2017

AUSTIN - Texas' highest criminal court decided Wednesday to reject Meagan Work's request to toss out the statements she made to police after the 2014 death of her 2-year-old son, Colton Turner, according to KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman.

Colton's body was found in a shallow grave in southeast Austin on Sept. 12, 2014 days after police began searching for him.

The Court of Criminal Appeals upheld a 2016 decision by the Austin-based Third Court of Appeals that allowed prosecutors to introduce during a trial statements Work made to Cedar Park police during 26 hours of questioning about the disappearance of Colton.

Before the Third Court of Appeals made that decision, a Travis County district judge ruled that Cedar Park police illegally arrested Work when she made the statements. The third Court ruled that the arrest was legal because it was apparent that she had lied to investigators when she said her son was with a friend out of town.

Police said Work and Michael Turner -- Work's boyfriend -- admitted to burying Colton after he died from a seizure. Family and friends said that they had not seen the boy since July 2014 and that he was covered in scrapes and bruises the last time they saw him.

Work has been charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence. Turner pleaded guilty in 2016 to injury to a child by omission and two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Turner was not Colton’s biological father, but was helping to raise him.
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« Reply #126 on: October 26, 2017, 09:53:35 PM »

http://kxan.com/2017/10/26/new-trial-date-set-in-meagan-work-case/
New trial date set in Meagan Work case
October 26, 2017



AUSTIN (KXAN) — The trial date for a woman charged in connection with the death of her 3-year-old has been pushed back to allow her defense more time to review evidence.

Originally, Meagan Work’s trial was scheduled for Oct. 30, but will now take place May 7, 2018. She has pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence and injury to a child after her son, Colton Turner, was found in a shallow grave in 2014.

Police say Work changed her story numerous times when they questioned her. However, Work’s defense argued that her arrest was unconstitutional and her statements should be tossed from the record. A judge agreed with that argument in October 2015, but last December an appeals court ruled those statements could be allowed into evidence.

Work’s attorney told KXAN Wednesday that its recent appeal of that ruling was rejected and that pushing back her trial date would give the defense time to analyze that ruling and prepare in light of the evidence being allowed in court. She also said that Work is in good spirits and is looking forward to the trial date and having all the evidence brought to light.

Judge David Wahlberg expects Work’s trial to last more than a week, and said two jury pools will likely be necessary because Work’s case has received so much attention.

Pre-trial hearings are scheduled for Jan.  30-31, 2018.

Michael Turner, 32, pleaded guilty in February 2016 to tampering with evidence and reckless injury to a child by omission charges in connection with Colton’s death. Turner led police to Colton’s body, which he buried, removed, and then buried in a different location. Turner is serving a 20-year sentence.
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« Reply #127 on: January 30, 2018, 09:49:20 AM »

http://kxan.com/2018/01/30/meagan-works-pretrial-hearings-begin-tuesday/
Meagan Work’s pretrial hearings begin Tuesday
January 30, 2018

USTIN (KXAN) — For the first time since her trial was delayed last year, a mother charged in connection with the death of her 3-year-old son will face a judge. Meagan Work’s pretrial hearing is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Work pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence and injury to a child after her son, Colton Turner, was found in a shallow grave in 2014. Her trial was originally scheduled for Oct. 30, 2017, but after a failed appeal to deem certain statements inadmissable, her defense requested more time to build its case. Work’s defense tried to argue that her arrest was unconstitutional, but in December 2016, an appeals court ruled her statements following the arrest could be used as evidence. Those statements include a confession.

Work’s trial is scheduled to start in May. Judge David Wahlberg says it could last more than a week and will likely require two jury pools because of the public interest.

In February 2016, Work’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Michael Turner, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and reckless injury to a child by omission charges in this case. He is serving a 20-year sentence after helping lead investigators to Colton’s remains.
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« Reply #128 on: January 30, 2018, 07:13:34 PM »

http://kxan.com/2018/01/30/meagan-works-pretrial-hearings-begin-tuesday/
Meagan Work’s defense continues to argue her arrest was unconstitutional
January 30, 2018

AUSTIN (KXAN) — For the first time since her trial was delayed last year, a mother charged in connection with the death of her 3-year-old son faced a judge. Meagan Work’s pretrial hearing is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

Work pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence and injury to a child after her son, Colton Turner, was found in a shallow grave in 2014. Her trial was originally scheduled for Oct. 30, 2017, but after a failed appeal to deem certain statements inadmissable, her defense requested more time to build its case. Work’s defense tried to argue that her arrest was unconstitutional, but in December 2016, an appeals court ruled her statements following the arrest could be used as evidence. Those statements include a confession.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Work’s attorneys once again argued that her arrest was unconstitutional. The defense argues because Work was arrested for a Class C Misdemeanor, she should have been magistrated and released but instead, she was held for days and questioned.
The defense wants those statements thrown out before the trial starts.

Work’s trial is scheduled to start in May. Judge David Wahlberg says it could last more than a week and will likely require two jury pools because of the public interest.

In February 2016, Work’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Michael Turner, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and reckless injury to a child by omission charges in this case. He is serving a 20-year sentence after helping lead investigators to Colton’s remains.

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« Reply #129 on: January 31, 2018, 07:17:01 AM »

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/mother-charged-in-sons-death-returns-to-court
Mother charged in son's death returns to court
January 30, 2018

A mother charged in the death of her two-year-old son was back in Travis County District Court Tuesday.
               
Meagan Work is charged with tampering with evidence and injury to a child. Both charges were filed after Work's son, Colton Turner, was found in a shallow grave in 2014.

This time Work’s attorneys hope to convince a district court judge to toss out statements she made to police regarding the disappearance of her son. They said because she wasn't arraigned within 48 hours of her arrest, she was being held illegally.

“They didn't comply with the law and that renders her statements inadmissible and the question now is going to be which statements,” said defense attorney Ariel Payan.

In 2016, Texas' Third Criminal Court of Appeals overturned the district court’s decision to throw out Work's statement. Now a district court judge is looking into how to apply the third court's ruling.

“Whatever he decides now, if he suppresses any of the statements, some of those statements were used to get search warrants. If he suppresses those particular statements, then, obviously, those search warrants become questionable and so we would have to challenge those as well,” Payan said. 

Defense lawyers also claim Work's DNA, truck and phones were seized before she was told she was under arrest. That too, they say, should make the evidence inadmissible.

“How are you taking her car if she wasn't driving it and she wasn't under arrest at the time you took it? So that's quite a big step for law enforcement to take and not one that's legal,” said Payan. 

Also mentioned in court Tuesday was how the Cedar Park police investigator who interviewed Work conducted himself. That is the same investigator who helped during the Greg Kelley case. Kelley was convicted, but his case has been sent to the Court of Criminal Appeals after a newly appointed District Attorney agreed he was unfairly investigated. Work's lawyers said because of that, they will bring up new questions about the fairness of her investigation.

“Certainly, when you have an individual who investigates offenses in a certain way, that should be relevant to how they conducted themselves in your particular case. So, yeah, that's pretty likely,” Payan said. 

Meanwhile, Michael Turner, who was dating Work at the time of Colton’s death, pleaded to two counts of tampering with physical evidence and one count of reckless injury to a child by omission. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The judge is expected to make a decision on the motion to suppress March 21. Work's trial begins May 7.
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« Reply #130 on: March 26, 2018, 02:52:43 PM »

https://www.statesman.com/news/crime--law/district-judge-rule-evidence-meagan-work-case/4NY9CPOW8ySU6fLBvYb4MN/
District judge to rule on evidence in Meagan Work case
March 26, 2018

Travis County state District Judge David Wahlberg was expected to rule this afternoon on whether to throw out evidence in the Meagan Work case.

The Meagan Work trial has been delayed again, and so has state District Judge David Wahlberg’s decision on the evidence that will be allowed in the case.
Jury trial for the Meagan Work case has been pushed back again from its scheduled date of May 7 to the week of August 20 to allow time for attorneys to review evidence. The trial was originally scheduled for October.

Wahlberg’s decision on whether or not to allow evidence taken in in the first few days of Work’s arrest has also been pushed back to an uncertain date.

Wahlberg has ruled before to throw out all statements Work made to police in the two days following her arrest in 2014, who were then investigating the disappearance of her 2-year-old son. In 2015, he ruled that Work was arrested unlawfully and threw out many of the statements she made while under arrest, including some DNA evidence and her confession to hiding her deceased child.

Wahlberg’s decision was reversed by the 3rd Court of Appeals in December 2016, defending Work’s arrest because she had lied to investigators. The Court of Criminal Appeals upheld this ruling in September.

Work was arrested for a Class C Misdemeanor, and her defense attorney Ariel Payan argues she should have been magistrated and released but was instead detained and questioned for almost 50 hours. Payan said Work was intentionally denied access to an attorney during that time.

Wahlberg said at a hearing in January that he had concerns that Work was mistreated by Cedar Park police and hinted that he would again rule to throw out evidence that police gathered during that 50-hour period, including her statements.

Work pleaded not guilty in 2015 to felony charges of injury to a child and tampering with evidence. Her son Colton Turner was found buried in South Austin in 2014.
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« Reply #131 on: May 04, 2018, 09:51:25 AM »

http://www.fox7austin.com/news/local-news/judge-rules-confession-statements-admissible-in-2014-meagan-work-case
Judge rules confession statements admissible in 2014 Meagan Work case
May 3, 2018

The confession of a woman charged in the death of her two-year-old son can now be used in trial. Megan Work was arrested back in 2014 after her son Colton Turner was found in a shallow grave in southeast Austin.

Work is charged with injury to a child with intent to cause serious bodily injury or serious mental deficiency and tampering with evidence. Her attorney’s filed a second motion to suppress her statements she made while she was in Cedar Park Police custody. Defense attorney Ariel Payan said law enforcement did not take Work in front of a magistrate within 48hours of her detainment and any confession made past that allotted time wasn’t admissible.

According to court documents, Work was held for more than two days, questioned by several law enforcement agencies and her story about what happened to Colton changed throughout her time there.

"You're talking about a 20-year-old girl pregnant in pain, no medical attention, vomiting for 16-hours not eating barely drinking,"Payan said. "She was deliberately purposefully intentionally held in a room so that they can question her repeatedly over and over, over again till they got what they wanted.

However, the prosecution argued detectives read her rights, offered her water and placed her in a room the department uses to conduct interviews with witnesses and victims.

167th District Judge David Wahlberg said he agreed the Cedar Park Police department failed to take Work in front of a magistrate but ultimately sided with the State.

Work’s full confession statements can be used in trial in August.
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