A New Mexico woman who left her newborn baby in a dumpster last year was sentenced Monday to 16 years in prison, prosecutors said.
A jury convicted Alexis Avila, now 19, of attempt to commit first-degree murder and abuse of a child in April, NBC affiliate KOB of Albuquerque reported.
Good Samaritans found the infant in Hobbs, a city of around 40,000 in the southeastern part of the state, after the Jan. 7, 2022, incident. The infant survived.
Avila, who was 18 at the time, told police that she did not know she was pregnant until a day before she gave birth, police said.
“I know what I did was wrong, and the only person I truly need to apologize to is my baby,” Avila said in court Monday, according to video broadcast by KOB.
Avila had faced up to 18 years in prison. The prosecutor, Fifth Judicial District Attorney Dianna Luce, called it “an especially heinous crime” in a statement.
Passersby found the newborn after five hours in the dumpster during cold temperatures, Luce said.
New Mexico law allows people to take babies up to 90 days old to "safe haven sites" without being charged with child abandonment.