Angela Alexie, a 25-year-old woman from the Detroit area who left her newborn baby boy in a dirty and cold Eastpointe garage on Christmas Eve to die in 2014 has been sentenced to life in prison.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to happen. I wish I could take it all back,” the mother of four said to Macomb County Circuit Court Judge James Biernat Jr.
As the Detroit Free Press reports, Alexie’s sentence is a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole. The baby boy, who his mother said would have named Robert had he lived, was found wrapped in a torn black shirt and left at a Roseville recycling center. His frozen body was found when it came down a conveyor belt; it had been there for three weeks. Temperatures were as low as 24F when he died.
— Bonnie Kernene (@mylifeofcrime) April 19, 2016
Stevie Kaplan, Alexie’s attorney, had argued that his client had no prior conviction and was remorseful over the gruesome act. He added that when the baby was born, Alexie refused to ask for help because she was immature and suffered bouts of mental illness. Kaplan was pushing for a manslaughter conviction, but jurors found Alexie guilty of first-degree murder.
Angela Alexie at her sentencing for allowing newborn to die pic.twitter.com/awAumkWu3R
— Jameson Cook (@JamesonCook) April 19, 2016
The mother blamed the death of the newborn on her drug addiction.
“I did any pill I could get my hand on. I did heroin. I did crack,” she explained.
But the judge interjected, saying that many couples went through challenges trying to have children and she had no problems having one and yet recklessly took it for granted.
The remorseful mother said she wished she had not gone through with the atrocious act, but the judge said the jury was unanimous in their verdict. Alexi’s family, including her father, mother, and uncle, were part of court proceedings, but they refused to comment on her sentencing.
Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo accused the mother of four of taking the easy way out by getting rid of a pregnancy that she did not want. He said she considered the baby a “roadblock to her social life” and a “dirty little secret.” He said it was a premeditated act that ensured the baby had no chance to live, adding that Michigan was known for its safe-haven law, which allows parents to legally offer newborns of not more than three days old to hospitals, fire stations, or police stations without punishment.
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The prosecutor, who described Alexie as a woman who was not a good mother to her other children, said she cut the umbilical cord with her teeth and left the baby on the bare ground before returning to take him to the recycling center. Alexie claimed that she went to see the child regularly and tried to breastfeed him but said he died by the second day.
Cataldo knocked down any impressions that the mother was a woman who was repentant of her actions. He said that on the same day that Alexie abandoned the baby, she had posted “RIP Baby” on Facebook, claiming that it was a friend’s child. He added that she had sent a text on the same day to a friend asking what bar they would be meeting that day. Nine days after the child’s death, Cataldo said she was also sending out selfies to Oprah’s Weight Watchers, saying “I’ve lost 20 pounds in 2 ½ weeks.”
Alexie said she had hidden the pregnancy from her boyfriend and lied about a miscarriage. When the baby was found dead, an appeal was launched to find the mother. Amy Lesniak, who was taking care of Alexie’s other children, suspected that she was pregnant even though she lied about it. Lesniak informed police when she heard that a baby had been found in a dumpster and Alexie was picked up. A funeral was held for the child after his mother relinquished her rights to give him a proper burial.
[Photo Roseville, Mich. Police Department/AP Images]