Colorado Woman Sentenced to 100 Years for Cutting Baby from Stranger’s Womb

Matthew Jonas/The Daily Times Call via AP
Matthew Jonas/The Daily Times Call via AP
Boulder, CO

A woman from Boulder, Colorado, was sentenced to 100 years in prison for attempted murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy after attacking a stranger and cutting her baby out of her womb.

Dynel Lane, 36, was arrested after an attack on then-27-year-old Michelle Wilkins in March of 2015.

Lane was accused of luring her victim to her home under the ruse of selling maternity clothing, knocking Wilkins out with a lava lamp, then using two knives to cut out the woman’s fetus.

Investigators said that afterwards, Lane attempted to strangle Willis. After believing her victim was dead, Lane allegedly took the baby to the hospital claiming she was her own.

After Lane was convicted of the attack, at the sentencing, Judge Maria Berkenkotter said the tough sentencing was justified due to the brutality of the crime.

The convicted woman did not make a statement of contrition at her trial.

Lane was sentenced to 48 years for Wilkins’ attempted murder and 32 years for unlawful termination of a pregnancy. The rest of the sentence was for various assault charges.

During the trial, Wilkins delivered emotional testimony, shocking the court.

“As I was going upstairs towards the door, she struck me from behind,” Wilkins said at trial in February. “It’s hard to describe. She hit me, and then it was almost like pulling on my sweater and scratching at me.”

The victim continued to describe the attack, telling the jury Lane grabbed her and forced her into a bedroom, where she smashed the lava lamp over her head.

“And then she stabbed it into my neck. I just remember everything was wet and slippery. I remember when she stabbed me, she removed it and then she continued to choke me,” Wilkins said at trial.

“After she broke the bottle over my head and stabbed me and she was trying to choke me,” Wilkins concluded, “I remember thinking of Aurora and feeling like … I just thought of her and I wanted to survive for her. So I fought back harder.”

Wilkins’ baby died in the attack.

Some had hoped Boulder County District Attorney Stanley L. Garnett would charge Lane for murder of the child as well as for attempted murder of Wilkins, but Garnett insisted state law prevented him from doing so.

Garnett admitted that many people urged him to file murder charges, but he could not, asserting that murder charges were “not possible under Colorado law without proof of a live birth. A prosecutor cannot file murder charges when a baby who is killed has not lived outside the body of the mother. For similar reasons, I cannot bring charges of child abuse resulting in death.”

The coroner claimed the child’s lungs were never fully inflated, but a cause of death has not yet been officially determined. A full autopsy report will be issued once all testing is complete.

In 2013, led by the pro-abortion lobby, Colorado legislators voted down a “personhood law,” a law that would give a fetus the status of a human being. Colorado became one of only 12 states to deny that status.

On Friday, Lane was charged with criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, unlawful termination of a pregnancy, two counts of the crime of violence, two counts of first-degree assault, and two counts of second-degree assault.

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