NY mother who strangled newborn boy sentenced to 12 years in prison, deportation

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NEW CITY, New York — A young mother who admitted strangling her newborn son and leaving his body in a recycling container outside a convenience store was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison and deportation.

Maria Guaman-Guaman, 24, of Spring Valley, had been allowed to plead guilty to manslaughter in June after mental health experts testified she had brain damage from being kicked by a horse at age 7, had an IQ of 53 and had suffered from extreme emotional disturbance.

The plea agreement called for 15 years in prison, but state Supreme Court Justice William Kelly imposed the lower sentence, said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas P. Zugibe.

The infant's body was left in the recycling bin in Spring Valley on Nov. 12 and was found later that day in a plastic bag by a worker at a recycling center in Elmsford, across the Hudson River in Westchester County.

Police called the boy "Baby Angel."

Items found near the body, including discarded lottery tickets, helped police trace the baby to Spring Valley, and DNA tests identified Guaman-Guaman as the mother, Zugibe said. She was arrested in December.

The district attorney said the sentence includes deportation to Guaman-Guaman's native Ecuador after she serves her prison time. Her 3-year-old daughter has been placed with the girl's father.

Zugibe noted that under New York's Safe Haven law, a parent may anonymously surrender an unwanted infant at a hospital, a police station or a fire station.

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