Alexis Avila gets 16 years for attempted murder, child abuse

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LOVINGTON, N.M. — A judge sentenced Alexis Avila after a jury convicted her last month of abandoning her newborn baby in a dumpster in Hobbs in 2022.

Last month, the jury found Avila guilty of attempted first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in great bodily harm. The verdict happened on the fourth day of her trial.

The judge sentenced the Hobbs teen Monday to 16 years behind bars and two years of parole for a serious violent offense. Avila will get credit for 475 days and is required to participate in counseling, education and parenting classes.

Entering Monday, Avila faced 12-18 years in prison.

The prosecutors’ statements were brief. They demanded the maximum 18-year sentence, citing the nature of her actions and “a lack of emotion” during the trial.

Meanwhile, the defense called for Avila to get a six-year sentence, citing her mental health and eligibility for rehab.

Avila took the stand, expressing remorse for her baby.

“He will always have it in the back of his head that I don’t love him but I still do. Me doing this took away from my parents and family getting to love him. I still don’t understand how I did this as I don’t think it reflects who I am, but I am truly sorry,” Alexis Avila said.

The father reiterated Monday the baby is doing well, other than a potential heart murmur and asthma. He said he didn’t know why Avila did what she did but said, in closing, “May God forgive you and God bless.”

After hearing both sides, Judge William G. W. Shoobridge handed down the sentence.

“We’d be looking at a murder case, if not for luck,” the judge said. “If it wasn’t for the grace and happenstance of three dumpster divers, you’d be looking at a murder charge. It’s a miracle that, on the cold night, your child survived. I find that leaving your child in the dumpster, for as long as you did, indicates you had an opportunity to correct your actions but you didn’t. If it also wasn’t for modern medicine, your child would be dead.”

The judge suspended two years of her sentence, citing her age. However, he reiterated the possible long-term effects beyond anything he could sentence.

“You’ve given yourself a life sentence, knowing what you did with your child. You also gave your kid a life sentence. That’s something that’s as hard to deal with as any time in prison,” the judge expressed.

Alexis Avila’s attorney issued the following statement after the sentencing Monday:

“From the beginning, Alexis knew she would have to take accountability and serve time in
prison as a punishment for her actions. What we had hoped was prosecutors would ignore the
political and media attention on the case and offer a plea that would recognize that Alexis was
barely 18 at the time this happened and that she is not cold-blooded but in need of mental health
treatment. Now Alexis will be about 34 years old when she gets out of prison. 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.”