Woman convicted for cutting stranger's baby from womb

Defense attorneys stand with Dynel Lane as she is found found guilty of attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Photo / AP
Defense attorneys stand with Dynel Lane as she is found found guilty of attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Photo / AP

Jurors have convicted a Colorado woman of cutting a stranger's baby from her womb in a gruesome attack that nearly killed the expectant mother.

Dynel Lane was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the attack, which happened last March.

Prosecutors say Lane went to great lengths to convince others she was expecting a baby before luring Michelle Wilkins to her home with a Craigslist ad for maternity clothes.

She then hit and choked Wilkins before using two kitchen knives to cut out the unborn girl. Wilkins, who was 7-months pregnant, survived, but her baby died.

Just before the attack, Lane's boyfriend informed her he would leave her unless he got definitive proof she was pregnant due to the fact that she had been claiming she was with child for 14 months at that point.

Lane will be sentenced on April 29, and on her way out of court an emotional Wilkins said she will be there and "speak then."

She then added of Lane; "It had just never entered my world view that someone could be so cruel and value life so little."

"There is nothing ever in any shape or form that can remotely prepare you for something like this," Wilkins said Tuesday afternoon.

"What has dominated my perspective consistently is disbelief. Words are not sufficient to describe it."

Despite all this though, Wilkins somehow managed to stay calm and collected while she spoke about the woman who took away her unborn baby.

Michelle Wilkins speaks during an interview at the Boulder County Justice Center. Photo / AP
Michelle Wilkins speaks during an interview at the Boulder County Justice Center. Photo / AP

"Many have asked me how I feel about Dynel Lane. Early on I said I have forgiven her. It's part of who I am as a human being and Martin Luther King said it brilliantly. 'We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love,'" said Wilkins.

"There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us.

"I do not hate Dynel. But I am angry for all the pain she has caused. The deceit and all her selfishness."

Wilkins later thanked the public for the outpouring of support she received after the tragedt.

"I wish to thank everyone for their attention, and the continuing messages, donations and expressions of love and encouragement. Your continued support allows me not only to survive this but also to thrive in the midst of a dark and trying time," she said.

"And yes, every dollar, every smile, every message, every prayer has been a comfort and a hug to me.

"Resolution doesn't end with the case. There is still a lot of personal healing to do."

Prosecutors say Dynel Lane went to great lengths to convince others she was expecting a baby before luring Michelle Wilkins to her home. Photo / AP
Prosecutors say Dynel Lane went to great lengths to convince others she was expecting a baby before luring Michelle Wilkins to her home. Photo / AP

Last week, the jury in Boulder heard the grisly and grim details of the moment Wilkins awoke to find herself in the home of Lane after being hit over the head and stabbed in the neck with glass before she was cut open from 'hip to hip' and her fetus was removed from her body.

Prosecutors in the case also showed the jury the bloody pillow and bedding from the crime scene.

Wilkins, 27, testified on the first day of the trial that she went to Lane's home after she posted an Craigslist ad saying that she was selling maternity clothes.

She said that after an hour she went to leave, but Lane, 35, convinced her to look at some baby clothes she had in the basement.

That is when Wilkins said that Lane hit her over the head and attacked her, while she told the woman; "I love you."

Wilkins had said she believed that might get Lane to stop the attack, but instead she responded by saying; "If you love me, you'll let me do this."

When she awoke some time later, Wilkins said that she immediately noticed "a really big cut across my stomach."

She said that she tried to stand up but immediately fell down, too weak from the attack and loss of blood.

"I just felt the blood seeping through my pants and I could feel my intestines outside of my body," she said.

Michelle Wilkins testifies during the trial. Photo / AP
Michelle Wilkins testifies during the trial. Photo / AP

Wilkins somehow managed to call 911, where an operator kept her on the phone and urged her to hold a towel to her stomach in hopes of stopping the blood that was pouring out of her body.

She also locked the door, not knowing at the time that Lane was no longer in the house but at the hospital with the baby she had just cut out of Wilkins, having told her boyfriend David Ridley that it was her child and she had suffered a miscarriage.

Wilkins did not learn until the next morning, after doctors were miraculously able to save her life, that she had lost her unborn child - a girl she had named Aurora.

Wilkins broke down in tears on the stand while she recounted learning the horrible news.

Prosecutors said they couldn't charge Lane with murder because a coroner found no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb.

Prosecutors showed the jury the pillow and mattress from the crime scene on Thursday, both soaked in blood.

They also presented the blood-caked knife that was found at the scene and two bloody shirts that were found in Lane's trash.

Early testimony seemed to suggest that Lane - who had been claiming to be pregnant for around 14 months at that time - may have attacked Wilkins because of an ultimatum that was given to her by her boyfriend at the time.

Ridley testified that Lane's due date kept shifting and she refused to see a doctor with him.

Ridley says Lane told him in April 2014 she was expecting a boy. But when 10 months passed and she hadn't given birth, he told her he needed answers from a doctor about the baby or he would leave her.

He had planned to meet her for a pre-natal appointment the day of the attack. But when he came to pick her up, she told him she had delivered the baby at home. He says he found the baby in a bathtub.

Ridley also said during this time Lane had been sending him ultrasound images and photos of her distended belly.

On Thursday social media messages Lane sent were also shared, and showed that she had told some people she gave birth to a baby boy and others that she was still pregnant.

She had even had a baby shower in November 2014 and told people she wanted to name the baby James.

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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