LEA COUNTY, New Mexico — A jury in Lea County found Alexis Avila, 19, guilty of child abuse with great bodily harm resulting in great bodily harm and one count of attempted first-degree murder on Friday. Avila was caught on security video tossing her newborn baby into a garbage dumpster on January 7, 2022.
Avila testified in her own defense on Thursday, saying she did not remember what happened and “blacked out” the moment she gave birth and saw the baby. The teen testified that she was not able to comprehend her actions “for a couple months.”
During closing arguments of the trial on Friday, prosecutors said Avila was “supposed to care for the baby boy.” Prosecutor Dianna Luce said the case was “all about choices.” Luce detailed the events leading up to Avila throwing the baby into the dumpster.
“Everybody reacted to the newborn needing to be protected … everyone except Alexis Avila,” Luce said to the jury. The prosecutor said Avila tossed the baby “like [he] was nothing more than trash.”
Avila’s defense attorney, Ibukun Adepoju, said during closing arguments that Avila did not have the “willful deliberation to kill her baby.” Adepoju said Avila responded in “the only way she knows, she blacks out.”
Adepoju told the jury that Avila did not hide any evidence. The defense attorney said the doctors “missed” the fact that Avila was pregnant. Adepoju said Avila had bipolar disorder, “moderate” ADHD and struggled with disassociation. Adepoju reminded the jury that Avila had “no willfulness and deliberation” for intentional harm.
In the state’s response at the end of closing arguments, Luce said the jury “didn’t get to have sympathy” for Avila.
The trial started Tuesday. Avila’s sentencing was set for May 1. Avila was allowed to remain on house arrest with an ankle monitor until then. Unless a judge intervenes, Avila faced a mandatory 18 years in prison.