What happened to expecting Colorado mother Michelle Wilkins is like something out of a horror film.
In March 2015, while Wilkins was responding to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes, she was violently attacked and her 7-month unborn baby was cut out of her womb. Alleged attacker Dynel Catrece Lane severely injured Wilkins and killed her unborn baby, beating and stabbing them before abandoning Wilkins in her basement.
Lane is charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of pregnancy. She is pleading not guilty. Police said mental illness may be a factor in the case.
On Thursday, jury selection began for Lane’s trial, The Coloradoan reports. About 300 potential jurors were summoned to the Boulder County courthouse to be chosen for the trial, the report states.
Unfortunately, prosecutors are not able to bring charges for the unborn child’s death because Colorado state law does not regard unborn children as human beings who deserve justice when they are killed. This is because in May 2015, Colorado Democrats killed a bill that would add the state to the list of more than 25 states that provide justice and protection for pregnant women and unborn children. They rejected a similar measure in 2013.
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A report shows the baby breathed a heavy last gasp before she died. However, after the incident, a spokeswoman from the Boulder Country District Attorney’s Office said Lane wouldn’t face murder charges for the baby’s death. Instead, prosecutors charged the perpetrator with attempted murder of the mother, multiple counts of assault on the mother and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. On July 23rd, Lane pleaded not guilty to those charges at Boulder County Court.
Lane allegedly lured Wilkins, 26, to her home in March 2015 where she beat and stabbed her before cutting her unborn baby girl from her abdomen. Left alone in the basement of the home, Wilkins was eventually able to call police, was rescued and rushed to the hospital for immediate surgery. She was in critical condition for days.
When police arrived at the scene of the attack, what they found was brutal.
When police arrived at the home, they found Wilkins lying on a bed inside a basement bedroom, covered in blood. She was fading in and out of consciousness and could barely speak, according to Lane’s arrest affidavit. A small knife with a 3-inch blade was found on the floor next to the bed.
Officers found her cell phone, which showed a text from Lane, giving the victim the address of 1620 Green Place. The victim then sent a text at 11:51 a.m. saying that she had arrived at the home.
Officers followed a trail of blood from the bedroom to a utility room, where they found bloody towels being washed in the washing machine.
In a September interview, Wilkins said: “I was very confused when it all started. She grabbed me and pushed me deeper in the house. It had this nightmarish quality. She broke something over my head and liquid was pouring on me.”
According to CBS News, Lane was arrested at Longmont United Hospital after she and her husband came in with the deceased baby a few hours later. Apparently Lane’s husband didn’t know about the crime and thought she miscarried their baby. He drove her to the hospital but is not considered a suspect. Lane has at least two children who live with her at their home in Longmont, Colorado.
Wilkins is home now. She said her baby, who she named Aurora, is in heaven.
The family said Michelle is “taking the first tentative steps along a long journey towards recovery and spiritual reconciliation. She is surrounded by friends and family and wishes to express her deep gratitude for all the expressions of love, kindness, and spiritual solidarity she has received from both the Longmont community and from around the world. Michelle believes her recovery is directly aided by the prayers and positive energy she is receiving.”