HOBBS, N.M. (KRQE) – After throwing her baby into a dumpster and being convicted guilty of child abuse, 19-year-old Alexis Avila will be released from custody while she appeals her case; this decision reverses that of Judge Efren Cortez, who denied her release less than a month ago.
In January 2022, then 18-year-old Avila threw her newborn baby into a Hobbs dumpster. Avila’s jury trial began on Monday, April 10, 2023, and she was found guilty of child abuse resulting in great bodily harm. On May 1, the teen was sentenced to 16 years for the crime.
Avila’s attorney appealed her case on the day of sentencing. Then, on May 5, filed a motion for Avila to be released while pending her appeal. Avila’s request for release was denied in late September by Judge Efren Cortez; however, Avila’s attorney appealed the judge’s ruling, and on October 18, the decision was reversed.
Judge Kristina Bogardus and Judge Jane Yohalem of the appeals court reversed Judge Cortez’s ruling. The judges cited the case of Portales daycare owners Mary and Sandi Taylor, who are accused of killing one child and injuring another by leaving them inside a hot car in July 2017. In that case, the two appealed their conviction and have been out of prison since then, awaiting a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling on the appeal.
The appeals court judges ruled that Avila is not a flight risk and can be released under the same pre-trial conditions that she was under before. The judges also ruled that “the appeal raises a substantial question of law likely to result in a reversal or an order for a new trial.”
Avila had a hearing on Monday afternoon, October 23, regarding her conditions of release. She is now waiting on a date for the state supreme court to rule on her appeal – just like the Taylors are for their case.