Justice was served for a pregnant mother but not for her unborn baby who was cut out of her womb after a Colorado jury found their attacker, Dynel Catrece Lane, guilty of attempted murder and other charges Tuesday.
Denver 7 ABC reports the Boulder, Colorado jury found Lane guilty of attempted first-degree murder for luring pregnant Michelle Wilkins to her home last year and then attacking her and cutting her unborn daughter out of her womb. She also was found guilty on two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy, according to the report.
However, Lane was not charged in the death of Wilkins’ unborn baby girl, Aurora. Though the unborn baby was 7-months along and likely would have survived outside of the womb, prosecutors were not able to bring charges for her death because Colorado state law does not regard unborn children as human beings who deserve justice when they are killed. 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.
A report shows Wilkins’ 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 her with unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
During the trial last Thursday, Judge Maria Berkenkotter blocked testimony about the cause and manner of baby Aurora’s death, according to the Associated Press. Lane’s attorneys argued that the baby was not legally a victim and the details of her death were not relevant to the trial, the report states.
The jury deliberated for about six hours Monday and then reached a verdict Tuesday at about 10 a.m., according to the report. Lane was found guilty on all counts. Her sentencing is scheduled for April 29, the report states.
Keep up with the latest pro-life news and information on Twitter. Follow @LifeNewsHQ
Lane pleaded not guilty to the attack. Fox 31 Denver reports Lane did not show any emotions as the judge read the verdict. According to the report, Lane could face up to 140 years in prison.
In 2015, Lane lured Wilkins, 26, to her home after posting an ad on Craigslist about baby clothes, LifeNews previously reported. After talking with Wilkins, Lane 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.
Authorities said Lane was obsessed with pregnancy and had been faking a pregnancy of her own for almost a year. After attacking Wilkins, Lane allegedly told her partner that she had a miscarriage and the baby girl was hers, according to authorities.
Last Wednesday, jurors listened to a tearful Wilkins as she explained the horrific details of the attack.
Wilkins’ soft voice trembled as she described how a chance meeting spiraled into the bizarre attack. It began March 17 when Wilkins responded to a Craigslist ad for free maternity clothes.
In a text to Lane, Wilkins asked if the clothes were still available: “Would love to have. Belly is bigger than ever!!”
The two women met at Lane’s home shortly before noon the next day and together went through maternity clothes, Wilkins said. They talked about pregnancy, shopping at thrift stores and their partners.
Lane appeared lonely. Every time Wilkins said she needed to leave, Lane spoke over her. When Wilkins opened the door to leave, Lane closed it.
“She was pulling at my sweater, kind of scratched at me,” Wilkins said. Wilkins said she asked if a spider had been on her shoulder.
“I think I got it,” Lane responded.
But she said Lane hit her again. Then again.
When Wilkins confronted her, Lane became angry and threatened to call the police. Wilkins offered to call the police herself, which she said appeared to prompt Lane to start punching her with her fists.
Eventually, Lane pushed Wilkins backward onto a bed, Wilkins said. The two wrestled, with Lane trying to choke Wilkins. Lane smashed a glass bottle over Wilkins’ head.
“I kept saying, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ” Wilkins said. She then told Lane, “I don’t know why you’re doing this, but I love you.”
She said Lane responded, “If you love me, you’ll let me do this,” before stabbing Wilkins in the neck with a shard of broken glass.
Every time she pushed Lane off of her, Wilkins thought of her daughter.
“I wanted to survive for her, so I fought back harder,” Wilkins said, choking back tears.
But Lane was able to pin both of Wilkins’ arms beneath her knees and with all of her weight, Lane pressed the heel of her hand into Wilkins’ throat.
Wilkins said she blacked out and later woke up to overwhelming pain in her stomach. She said she could feel her intestines outside of her body. At the time, she was not aware that her baby girl had been cut out of her womb.
Though she could barely walk, Wilkins said she “willed” herself to walk to the door and call 911.
Emergency responder Billy Sawyer said when he arrived at the scene, he found Wilkins covered in blood from head to toe.
Meanwhile, Lane and her partner were at the emergency room with Wilkins’ baby girl. Prosecutors said Lane had been faking a pregnancy to her family, and when her partner arrived home, she told him that she had a miscarriage. The couple took Wilkins’ baby girl to the hospital, where Lane claimed the baby was hers, according to the testimony.
At the hospital, Lane told doctors, “Save my baby! Save him! Save him!”, according to the testimony.
Dr. Leslie Armstrong testified that she tried to restart the baby’s heart but could not. Armstrong said she also told Lane that the baby was a girl, not a boy.
After Lane refused treatment, doctors discovered that she was not pregnant, according to the report. Bizarrely, Lane later told the doctor that she removed Wilkins’ baby from her womb in an attempt to save the baby. Police later arrested Lane at the hospital.
Armstrong also treated Wilkins when she arrived in the emergency room not long after talking with Lane.
“She was barely alive,” Armstrong remembered saying as she treated Wilkins’ stab wounds.