New Mexico Teen Mother Accused of Dumping Newborn to Face Retrial After Judge Overturns Previous Legal Victory

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A New Mexico woman accused of murdering her child in a hospital toilet when she was a teenager just won a crucial court victory, and the state is now attempting to reverse that result, thereby postponing a trial scheduled to begin next month.

Alexee Trevizo, 20, has appeared in court only once so yet, in August 2023. During that appearance, her defense attorney, Gary C. Mitchell, successfully argued for the suppression of certain significant evidence that the state intended to utilize against her.

In response, District Attorney Dianna Luce, who represents Eddy, Lea, and Chaves counties in the Land of Enchantment, has petitioned the state’s highest court to save the high-profile case.

The defense’s effective suppression of evidence covers a large portion of what prosecutors would have presented to jurors.

First, the defense contended that the strong patient-physician privilege under New Mexico law prevents the prosecution from utilizing practically all of what happened at Artesia Hospital in January 2023, except workers reporting the deceased newborn found in the trash can.

“The privilege applies from the time she went to the hospital, and it applies to everybody there,” Mitchell claimed a year ago. “Everything that has happened since she first went to the hospital. Everything the doctors and nurses stated. They couldn’t release it to police until my client signed a waiver, which we didn’t do.”

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Mitchell clarified that the suppression request was broad: “Anything that happens at Artesia Hospital,” the defense attorney explained.

In the end, Fifth Judicial District Judge Jane Gray sided with the defense on the medical privilege issue.

Second, Mitchell maintained that the hospital essentially detained his client on behalf of law enforcement; in reality, a doctor at the hospital waited until two police officers arrived before questioning Trevizo about what happened in the restroom. The defense attorney argued that this violated the woman’s Miranda rights under the Fourth Amendment.

The court agreed with this reasoning as well.

While many aspects are available thanks to multiple widely broadcast clips from body-worn camera footage, the case is currently under court seal.

Nonetheless, the prosecutor shared the appeal with local media this week, generally detailing the state’s most recent set of arguments in remarks to Albuquerque-based CBS/Fox affiliate KRQE.

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“All I can say is that obviously, it was evidence that we believe was proper, evidence that we believe that we should be allowed to use, and we respectfully disagree with the court,” according to Luce.

During last summer’s hearing, the state did not question the strength of the patient-doctor privilege, but instead claimed it did not apply.

“The defendant’s mother is present in the room with her at the emergency room,” Luce unsuccessfully claimed in court. “You cannot have a privilege if a third party is present. So, any statements made will not be privileged under this rule.”

The prosecution also claimed that authorities obtained the hospital’s medical records legally through a court order.

Gray initially indicated that both sides would find things to like and dislike about her conclusion on the suppression motion — and requested extra briefing on the subject. The state appears to have had a stronger distaste for the court’s evidentiary ruling.

“Is this just a medical issue that is private and confidential or were there some type of actions that rise to the level of criminal intent?” Luce sarcastically queried the TV station, attempting to avoid the confines of the case’s seal, before answering her question: “So, we believe that it rises to the level of criminal intent” Lawandcrime stated.

It is unclear whether or not the New Mexico Supreme Court will address the issue and issue its own decision.

A pretrial hearing for the case was scheduled for later this month, with the trial beginning in late August. Now those dates are in jeopardy.

The newborn boy was born and died on January 27, 2023. On March 28, 2023, an autopsy revealed that his death was a homicide, while the defense criticized the examination method as “medieval.” Trevizo was charged on May 10, 2023, and arrested the following day. She was released five days later and is now out on bond.

Law&Crime reached out to both attorneys for comment on this article, but no answer was received at the time of publication.

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