MOUNT CLEMENS (WWJ/AP) - An Eastpointe woman has been formally sentenced to life in prison without parole in the murder of her newborn child.
A jury last month convicted 25-year-old Angela Alexie of first-degree felony murder. She received her mandatory punishment Tuesday in Macomb County Circuit Court in Mount Clemens.
Prosecutors say Alexie allowed her baby to freeze to death in a garage at a home where she was living -- just days after giving birth to the child on Christmas Eve 2014. The child's body was found about three weeks later at a Roseville recycling center.
Alexie, who has three other children in foster care, held back tears as she was being sentenced.
"I want to say I'm sorry. I didn't mean for it to happen. I don't know, I wish I could take it all back," she said. "I made a mistake. I wish I could take it back."
Alexie also told the judge she had a drug problem, admitting one of her four children was born with issues related to substance abuse.
"I did any pill I could get my hand on. I did heroin, I did crack, I did everything. Anything I could get my hands on," she said.
Macomb County Circuit Judge James Biernat told Alexie that many couples go through great difficulties trying to have children, saying "unfortunately you had no problem," to which she responded: "I know and I wish I hadn't had done it, like I said."
Prosecutors say Alexie chose a cowardly way of getting rid of the child. Assistant Prosecutor William Cataldo says Alexie hid her pregnancy and considered the child a "dirty little secret" and "a road block to her social life."
Defense attorney Steve Kaplan, who told the court that Alexie has "cognitive challenges," thought involuntary manslaughter was a more appropriate charge, but the jury disagreed.
Outside court, county prosecutor Eric Smith said: "This case disgusts me."
"She had plenty of options, plenty of alternatives," he said. "No one leaves a newborn in a garage."
The baby's death and discovery of the body shocked the community. More than 100 people attended a wake, and the boy was buried at a cemetery in Clinton Township. Morgue employees named him Henry Alexander Macomb.
TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
for more features.