A teenage mom Tiona Rodriguez, smothered her newborn baby just after giving birth in a friend's bathroom about four years ago. She then visited Victoria's Secret store at Manhattan with the baby's body stuffed in her handbag.
The shocking incident took place in 2013. Tiona, who was 17-years-old back then, was initially charged with shoplifting. She allegedly stole a pair of pants and a tote bag from the lingerie shop, reports the New York Post. The baby's body was discovered after security guards noticed a foul smell coming from her bag. She was later accused of murdering her newborn baby boy.
The young woman did not say anything when the judge asked her if she would like to defend herself.
"We hope this brings justice to the baby boy who never got to live his life," said prosecutor Chloe Kendall before Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber imposed the sentence.
"This is a horribly sad and tragic case," Farber commented before imposing the sentence.
The dead baby was Tiona's third child, reports said quoting the lawyers of the woman. She gave birth to her first child when she was 14 and the child now lives with its father. It is still unclear whether or not her second child was born.
During her January plea, Tiona admitted that her third child was born alive and then was suffocated to death.
It is not known how long the baby was alive before he was killed.
The defense attorney Julie Rendelman told the reporters that Tiona was under "incredible pressure and incredible feelings of inadequacy," at the time of committing the crime.
"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," Julie continued.
Tiona was charged with murder after the prosecutors went through a Facebook message where she callously talked about the baby to her friend.
"Take this s–t and dig a hole, put it somewhere, lol, then we go eat IHOP,' " the message read.
The New Yorker has been given 16 years prison term.
Tiona could have faced life imprisonment if convicted at trial. But, the now 21-year-old pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter under a disturbed state of mind, paving way for a much lenient punishment. After 16 years of imprisonment, Tiona will face extra five years' post-release supervision.