She said, ‘If you love me, you’ll let me do this’ as she cut the baby out of my womb, mom testifies
DENVER, February 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - The trial began Wednesday for a Colorado woman accused of luring a pregnant woman to her home and cutting the baby out of her body, so she could present the child as her own.
Despite macabre testimony, the most powerful piece of evidence may be a picture of the victim, 27-year-old Michelle Wilkins, smiling and displaying her baby bump shortly before the attack.
When she was assaulted last March 18, Wilkins was seven months pregnant with a daughter she and her boyfriend had already named Aurora. "We were prepared" for the girl's arrival, Wilkins testified in court yesterday.
As a final preparation, she answered a Craigslist ad for free baby clothes.
Although never pregnant, Dynel Lane told her family - including her own daughters and her longtime live-in beau - that she was expecting a baby boy. Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said that, as her partner began to question her story, Lane took out the ad to lure a mother - and her baby - into her home.
Wilkins testified that the two talked for more than an hour before Lane began punching her and pulling at her sweater. Wilkins initially asked if she had a spider on her clothes, but when Lane punched her again, she threatened to call the police.
She said that's when the beating really began.
Lane began to hit her from behind, yelling, “Why would you go in someone’s house and do that to them?”
“I held up my hands and said ‘I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to leave,'” Wilkins responded.
“She broke a bottle over my head,” Wilkins said.
“I said, ‘I don’t know why you’re doing this. I love you,'" Wilkins told the court. "She said, ‘If you love me, you’ll let me do this.’"
Although Lane led her into a bedroom and began choking her - placing her knees on Wilkins' arms and pressing against her throat with her full body weight - the thought of her unborn baby daughter made her fight to go on.
"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,” she said.
Then everything went black.
By the time she awoke Lane, a former certified nurse's aide, had cut Aurora out of her - but Wilkins was so disoriented, she only feared the attack had hurt the baby.
"I could feel my intestines outside my body," Wilkins said.
Somehow, she managed to call 911. "I'm pregnant. She cut me in my stomach — I'm afraid," she told Longmont dispatcher Beth Kemper.
Longmont Police Officer Billy Sawyer testified today that, when he responded to the call, Wilkins “was covered from head to toe in blood. And the entire room was also, blood everywhere.”
In the meantime, Lane and her common-law husband, David Ridley, had rushed the baby to the hospital. Ridley believed Lane's tale of having had a miscarriage.
Police later rushed Wilkins to the same hospital for recovery.
She testified today that she did not realize she had lost her baby girl, Aurora, "until the next day, in the hospital, when I woke up."
Wilkins survived, but her daughter did not. Nonetheless, the prosecutor did not charge Lane with murder, because the office did not believe the evidence was strong enough to prove the child had been killed outside the womb.
Ridley told police that he saw the child take “a gasping breath” in the bathtub, but the prosecution declined to press murder charges on Aurora's behalf.
In Colorado, killing a child inside the womb is not considered murder, even in a violent assault like the one Wilkins described. Lawmakers had tried to fix that, running afoul of pro-abortion lobbyists. State Representative Laura Bradford introduced a state version of the Unborn Victims of Violence Act in 2010, but the ACLU of Colorado opposed the bill on the grounds that it violated “reproductive freedom.”
Instead, Lane entered a not guilty plea to attempted murder, unlawful termination of a pregnancy and multiple counts of felony assault. Her attorney, Jennifer Beck, described her client as “impulsive and reckless." She "didn’t intend to kill the victim. She didn’t plan the attack and didn’t plan to claim the baby as her own,” she said.
Lane remains instill in police custody under a $2 million bond. The prosecution intends to rest by Monday, sources say.