The 19-year-old Hispanic woman accused of throwing her newborn baby into a mall trash can in New Mexico was sentenced to 18 years in prison Monday.
However, Judge William Shoobridge cited Alexis Avila’s mental health conditions and age to suspend two of the 18-year sentence, Fox News reported.
Last month, a jury convicted Avila of child abuse involving bodily harm.
The woman’s attorney argued that his client’s actions were not premeditated and that a prediagnosed mental condition influenced her action.
If it had not been for three people finding the toddler in the trash outside the commercial space in Hobbs, near the Texas border, the victim would not have survived.
The judge ordered the convict to continue her treatment and medication while serving her sentence. He also ordered her to complete higher education courses.
Avila said in court that she regrets what she did.
“I regret that his first hours of life were traumatic, and I regret that he’s always going to have that burden and he’s going to think that I don’t love him because of what he reads and hears,” the woman stated. “But that’s not real at all. I do love him. I really do,” she insisted.
A group of people were looking through the dumpster when they heard a noise they thought was a dog or cat. When they moved a garbage bag, they discovered the baby inside, wrapped in a towel, still with its umbilical cord. Witnesses tried to keep the baby warm until police and paramedics arrived. The baby was in the container for about five hours in freezing temperatures until he was rescued.
Avila was arrested in January of last year.
At the time, the 18-year-old told police she did not know she was pregnant until the day she gave birth.
Footage from surveillance cameras in the area captured the moment Avila threw the baby into the container at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2022.