Woman jailed over foetus-cutting attack

Dynel LaneImage copyright

Image caption

Dynel Lane did not speak in her own defence and has expressed no remorse for the attack

A woman in the US state of Colorado has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for cutting a nearly eight-month-old foetus from a stranger’s womb.

Dynel Lane was convicted of attempting to kill Michelle Wilkins and of the unlawful termination of her pregnancy.

Prosecutors could not charge her with murdering the baby because a coroner found no evidence that it had lived.

Lane, 36, had pretended to be pregnant for months, deceiving a man she told would be her child’s father.

The court in the city of Boulder heard that her deceit had extended to downloading ultrasound mages from the internet to trick the man.

In March last year, she lured the pregnant Ms Wilkins, then 26, to her house with an advert for maternity clothes posted on the Craigslist website.

She then attacked her and cut the baby from her womb.

Maximum penalties

The victim was able to make an emergency call, but was said to be barely conscious when officers arrived.

Lane had already left the scene.

Police said she had told the man who lived with her, David Ridley, that she had experienced a miscarriage. He rushed her and the baby to the hospital.

Lane has two children of her own, and she and Mr Ridley had been trying for another.

She did not know the victim, police said.

Image copyright

Image caption

Michelle Wilkins said she believed justice had been served

Judge Maria Berkenkotter said the brutality of the attack justified sentencing Lane to the maximum penalties available under the charges.

Asked in court if she wanted to speak, Lane said “no”.

“Judge Berkenkotter was clearly listening to everything that we were saying,” Ms Wilkins told reporters afterwards, adding she believed justice had been served.

Lane herself has expressed no remorse for the attack and did not speak at the trial in her own defence.

Her mother apologised in court to Ms Wilkins and her family, as did her father in a letter read by his wife.

The inability of prosecutors to charge Lane with murdering the baby led Colorado Republicans to introduce legislation that would have allowed a murder charge.

But Democrats rejected that measure – the third time the proposal has failed in Colorado.

Elsewhere in the US, 38 states have made killing a foetus a crime of murder with intent.

comments powered by Disqus