A teenager mother has been jailed for 16 years for leaving her newborn baby in a dumpster.
Alexis Avila, 19, was convicted of child abuse involving great bodily harm after her baby boy was discovered in the trash bin behind a shopping center in Hobbs, Texas, in January 2022.
Police traced Avila after identifying her car through a surveillance video.
Avila’s lawyer argued in court that the girl’s actions were not premeditated and that she had an undiagnosed mental health disorder.
Judge William Shoobridge reduced her sentence by two years as he cited mental health concerns and her age.
He told Avila that had it not been for luck and the grace of God he would have been deliberating a sentence in a murder case.
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USA Today reported that Avila told the court: “I regret his first hours of life were traumatic, and I regret that he will always have this in the back of his head and will think I do not love him because that’s what he’ll read and hear.
“But that’s not true at all. I do love him. I truly do.”
Avila also told the judge that she wanted to learn how to deal with stress and anxiety and said that she regretted missing out on her son’s first milestones.
Avila was arrested after a group of people found the baby in the trash bin and tried to keep him warm until police and paramedics arrived.
Public defender Ibukun Adepoju said Avila’s actions were the result of her bipolar disorder.
“Alexis will be about 34 years old when she gets out of prison,” Adepoju said in a statement to reporters after the sentencing.
“We’re trying to work with the prison to make sure she has access to therapy and education while incarcerated, so that when she gets out she can have a meaningful life.”