A teenage mum who killed her newborn baby and then stuffed the body in her handbag as she went shopping has been jailed for 16 years.
New Yorker Tiona Rodriguez was 17 when she smothered the baby after giving birth in a friend’s bathroom.
She then went to the world’s biggest Victoria’s Secret store in Manhattan with the baby in her handbag – and police found the body when she was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting.
If the case had gone to trial Rodriguez, now 21, would have faced life imprisonment but she pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter under extreme emotional disturbance.
The New York Post reported prosecutor Chloe Kendall told Manhattan Supreme Court: ‘We hope this brings justice to the baby boy who never got to live his life.’
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber said: ‘This is a horribly sad and tragic case.’
The dead baby was the defendant’s third child, her first, born when she was 14, is now living with the father, and the second was not born.
Mitigating, her attorney, Julie Rendelmen, said: ‘People look at her and think she’s so evil, but there is so much more to this young woman than these incredibly horrible moments in her life.
‘She was feeling incredible pressure and incredible feelings of inadequacy.’
Rodriguez had also been accused of shoplifting but the charge was later dropped.