ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A single mother accused of suffocating her 3-year-old son and burying him in a playground will face life in prison if convicted of first-degree murder, prosecutors said Friday.
Tiffany Toribio, 23, was charged with first-degree murder, child abuse and other counts related to the death of her son, Tyruss "Ty" Toribio, on May 13. His body was discovered two days later.
A public defender representing Toribio waived the charges in a court appearance Friday.
Bernalillo County District Attorney Kari Brandenburg said no circumstances would qualify Toribio for the death penalty. She said the state's current law allows the death penalty in limited circumstances such as cases of murdering a police officer or murder for hire.
The state had repealed that law for crimes committed as of July 1, replacing the death penalty with a life sentence without possibility of parole.
The district attorney's office also was evaluating whether other people could be charged for failing to report suspected child abuse.
Brandenburg said people have a duty to report suspected child abuse, although she acknowledged it was "a real gray area" and that no decision had been made.
Albuquerque police had said Toribio was recently homeless because she had been kicked out of her mother's house and a friend's apartment for ignoring her son.
Toribio remained jailed Friday on $250,000 bond.