ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - It was a sudden move that will keep her from facing a life sentence. Tiffany Toribio, who suffocated her 3-year-old son on a playground and then buried him in the sand, pled guilty Monday.
Torribio risked spending the rest of her life in prison after her trial next month so instead she took a deal, admitting to second degree murder and child abuse - judge then sentenced her to 23 years in prison.
"My client will punish herself for every day for the rest of her life. She feels horrible about what she did and she will never get over that. She was willing to do any number of years in prison for her actions." said defense attorney Lelia Hood.
Toribio has been in jail since May 2009 after she smothered her three year old son, Ty, brought him back to life, and then smothered him again. For a week no one knew the boy's name, police and neighbors just referred to him as baby angel. His body was found buried in the sand of a playground at Alvarado Park near San Mateo and I40.
Torribio told police she killed her son because they were homeless and she didn't want him to suffer through a rough childhood.
Toribio's trial would be risky for both Toribio and for prosecutors.
Toribio had pled guilty, but mentally ill and had the case gone to trial, the jury would have had to find her not guilty by reason of insanity or guilty of first degree murder. District attorney Spokesperson Kayla Anderson said, "At least with the plea we don't have to worry about the possibility of some sort of insanity factor coming into the trial as well."
The DA's office says Torribio's family urged her to move forward with the plea deal. Toribio, who's now 26, could be out of prison by the time she's 46.
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