Woman Found Guilty of Cutting Fetus from the Womb of A Stranger
A jury has convicted a woman of slashing a fetus from a stranger's womb in a horrific attack, and leaving the woman to die in a bloody basement.
Colorado jurors deliberated for about six hours before reaching their verdict Tuesday in a Boulder courthouse.
Prosecutors said they could not charge Lane with murdering the fetus because there was no evidence the unborn baby had survived outside the womb.
The defense rested without calling a single witness. Attorney Kate Herold told jurors her client had not planned the attack and acted on "impulse."
District Attorney Stan Garnett countered that Lane was so committed to the assault she switched to a second knife when the first was not sharp enough to cut out the seven-month-old fetus.
The baby did not survive. Michelle Wilkins, 27, suffered serious stab wounds and lost massive amounts of blood after Lane beat her with a lamp, stabbed her in the throat, slashed her stomach open and choked her into unconsciousness.
"I do not hate Dynel, but I am angry for all the pain that she caused," Wilkins said outside court. "It had just never entered my world view that someone could be so cruel," the Denver Post reported.
Wilkins had answered a Craigslist ad last March and went to Lane's home to look at maternity clothes, prosecutors said. Lane had convinced her family and boyfriend that she was pregnant, and the two discussed pregnancy.
But Lane was not pregnant, and was desperate to come up with a baby after her boyfriend became suspicious when her due date kept changing, prosecutors said.
In tearful testimony, Wilkins recounted the attack last week. "I kept saying, 'Why are you doing this?'" she told jurors. "I don't know why you're doing this, but I love you."
Lane replied "If you love me, you'll let me do this," and then stabbed Wilkins in the neck with a piece of a lava lamp that broke when she bashed Wilkins in the head.
Lane clamped her hand over Wilkins' mouth until the woman passed out, prosecutors said.
At a hospital, Lane said the baby was hers, and said she had just given birth, but refused to let medical staff examine her, police said. She was later arrested.
Wilkins was able to call 911 after regaining consciousness.
A sentencing hearing for Lane was scheduled for April 29.