NATIONAL CITY : Mother Sentenced in Abandonment

The mother who abandoned the child who came to be known as Baby Joy was sentenced Friday to three years of probation by a San Diego Municipal Court judge who said post-partum depression played a role in the crime.

Judge Gale E. Kaneshiro handed down the sentence to Adriana Avila, who had pleaded guilty to one count of felony child abandonment.

The abandoned newborn was found in the bed of a pickup truck Jan. 11 at Plaza Bonita. Avila had maintained that she wanted to give the child a better life than her financially strapped family could afford.

Avila, 24, a National City woman with three other children, was suffering from severe stress resulting from the unplanned pregnancy, according to counselors involved in the case. But Kaneshiro also noted that some of the problems in the family resulted from a lack of communication between Avila and her husband.

The judge also said the case is tragic because someday the child will come to know that she was "abandoned by her mother, thrown in the back of a pickup truck."

Prosecutors had sought a three-month prison term.

Baby Joy is being cared for by Avila's mother.

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