Opening statements heard in Alexis Avila trial, testimony begins
LOVINGTON, N.M. — Prosecutors got down to business on Day 1 of the Alexis Avila trial. She’s the teenage mother accused of throwing her newborn baby boy in a Hobbs dumpster last winter.
Avila is facing an attempted first-degree murder charge – or, alternatively, felony child abuse.
The court sat jurors, heard opening statements and started witness testimony Monday. Jury selection took about four hours, and opening statements only took about 20 minutes.
Prosecutors quickly referenced the video footage of Avila throwing her newborn into a dumpster behind a Hobbs business. They outlined what testimony and video will show – from the black bag Avila put the baby inside, to witness testimony from the three dumpster divers who found the baby, to Avila’s own confession about the birth.
Avila’s defense attorneys responded, saying they expect the evidence to show just what the state described. However, the difference is the perspective they have on the evidence. Avila’s attorney said to the jurors, at the end, we’re going to ask you to hold Avila accountable for her actions, but not for what they’ve charged her with.
The state moved right into witness testimony and video evidence Tuesday afternoon. They called Joe Imbriale to the stand first – he’s the Hobbs business owner who caught Avila on camera.
The state played different angles of the surveillance video, including from the time dumpster divers found the baby, up until first responders got there.
The three dumpster divers also testified Monday afternoon, explaining how they found the baby, how cold it was that night, and giving details about their 911 call. The state played the entire 911 call for the jury.
“I said ‘That don’t sound like a cat or a dog,’ and I ripped the bag open I said ‘Oh my freaking God it’s a baby,’ and he could barely even cry. He was so hoarse, and so freezing cold I was warming his little arms up,” said April Nutall who found the baby in the dumpster.
The last witness was an EMS specialist with the Hobbs Fire Department who responded that night. He was one of the first to care for the baby that night, so he described how they treated the baby boy.