BOULDER, Co. — A Colorado woman who was found guilty of attempted murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy for cutting an unborn baby out of her mother’s womb has been sentenced to 100 years behind bars.
As previously reported, in March 2014, Dynel Lane, 34, placed an ad on Craigslist to offer free baby clothes. But when Michelle Wilkins, 26, then seven months pregnant, responded to the advertisement, Lane allegedly hit her over the head with a lava lamp and stabbed her in the neck with broken glass.
When Wilkins blacked out, Lane performed a C-section and cut Wilkins’ baby daughter out of her womb, who subsequently died. Lane also allegedly left Wilkins for dead, who had lost half of the blood in her body.
According to reports, Lane had been living with her boyfriend and had faked a pregnancy for months after suffering a miscarriage. When he came home after the attack, she told him that she had given birth, but that the child was stillborn. In being interviewed by police at the hospital, she admitted that she had never been pregnant.
However, Lane also told police that it was Wilkins who first attacked her, and she fought back out of self-defense. She claims she only cut out the baby to save the child’s life.
“I thought I killed her and I didn’t want the baby to die, too,” Lane said. “What do you do in a situation like that? I just reacted.”
Wilkins told a different story in court, stating that when she attempted to leave, Lane hit her and then shoved her into a basement bedroom, where she tried to smother her face with a pillow. She then beat her over the head with the lava lamp.
“I was holding my hand over my head, and I just said ‘I don’t know why you’re doing this. I love you,’” Wilkins told the court. “And she said, ‘If you love me you’ll let me do this,’ and then she stabbed [the glass] into my neck.”
When Wilkins regained consciousness, she dialed 911 and both police and paramedics arrived at the house.
Prosecutors further painted Lane as an unstable person who was obsessed with pregnancy.
In February, a jury convicted Lane of attempted first-degree murder, four counts of assault and one count of unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Prosecutors had asked that she face 118 years behind bars for her crimes.
On Friday, before Lane was sentenced, Wilkins displayed a large photograph of her baby, who she named Aurora, in front of the courtroom.
“You knowingly left me to die multiple times,” she declared. “The only tears you shed during the trial were those of self-pity, to the sound of your own voice as your lies were slowly revealed. Yet even now you cannot come clean about what actually occurred. You embrace your narcissistic fantasy to fulfill the lie you created and it was more important than my right to live and Aurora’s right to live.”
“I believe you should receive the maximum penalty because I believe that you have lost the privilege to live in our society,” Wilkins said.
In sentencing Lane, Chief District Judge Maria Berkenkotter also told the woman that she had robbed Wilkins and her husband of the joys of parenting, and now they will never get to know their daughter. She characterized the crime as “brutal, shocking and cruel.”
“They won’t get to watch as she decides who she is or what she wants to do with her life,” Berkenkotter declared. “Ms. Lane, you stole that from Michelle.”
While Lane was convicted of unlawful termination of a pregnancy, she did not face murder charges for Aurora’s death.