Sentencing of Alexis Avila: Baby in Dumpster Trial

The Jury Found Alexis Avila Guilty

A judge sentences Alexis Avila to serve 16 years for abandoning her newborn in a dumpster in New Mexico.

Posted at 9:57 AM, May 1, 2023

HOBBS, N.M. (Court TV/AP) — Alexis Avila has been sentenced to serve 16 years for abandoning her newborn in a dumpster in New Mexico.

Hon. William G.W. Shoobridge told Avila, now 19, that her actions were “unforgivable” for a mother. The judge sentenced her to the maximum sentence of 18 years with two years of parole, but he then suspended two years off her sentence due to her age at the time of the crime and her diagnosed mental illness. The judge also noted she would get credit for time-served, which was 475 days, bringing the total time to 14 years and 110 days in the Department of Corrections. 

Avila was 18 years old when she left her newborn with its umbilical cord still attached, wrapped in a towel and in a trash bag, in a mall dumpster on January 7, 2022.

A group of people looking to salvage valuable trash items found the child and called 911. Surveillance footage captured the entire incident.

Authorities say the baby, who survived, had been in the dumpster for six hours in 36-degree weather. The surveillance video led police to Avila, who was seen driving up and throwing a bag into the container.

The high school student told police she didn’t know she was pregnant until the day before, when she sought medical attention for abdominal pain. Avila claimed she experienced stomach pain on Jan. 7 and unexpectedly gave birth.

Avila was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse.