Trial opens for Colorado woman accused of cutting baby from womb

BOULDER, Colo. - Dynel Lane went to extreme lengths to show those closest to her she was expecting a baby, sharing ultrasound images with her daughter and keeping photos of herself appearing pregnant on her cellphone.

See Full Article

She even arranged to meet her husband for a pre-natal appointment the same day prosecutors say she cut open the belly of a pregnant stranger and removed the woman's unborn baby girl, passing the child off as her own before admitting the March 18, 2015 attack.

Michelle Wilkins, who was 8 months pregnant, survived, but the unborn baby did not.

Jurors will hear opening statements Wednesday in the gruesome case, which stunned the foothills community of Longmont and reignited a highly charged debate playing out across the country over when a fetus can legally be considered a human being. District Attorney Stan Garnett said he could not charge Lane, 35, with murder because a coroner found no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb.

That roiled anti-abortion groups and prompted Colorado Republicans to introduce legislation that would have allowed prosecutors to file murder charges for killing a fetus, but Democrats rejected the measure. It was the third time such a proposal failed in Colorado, setting it apart from 38 states that have made the killing of a fetus a homicide.

Lane was charged instead with attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy, a criminal charge filed under a new law intended to be a compromise between opponents and supporters of abortion rights. The maximum punishment under that provision is 32 years in prison

Lane pleaded not guilty, but her attorneys have not revealed much about her defence. They said in court documents that they are not presenting a mental health case during the 10-day trial but may call witnesses who can testify about Lane's behaviour the day of the attack.

Lane is accused of luring Wilkins, then 26, to a basement with a Craigslist ad for baby clothes. Prosecutors say she then attacked Wilkins, cut her with a broken piece of glass and removed the baby using a kitchen knife and with such precision that authorities initially wondered if she had knowledge of how to perform a Caesarian section.

When Lane's husband came home early from work to meet her for a prenatal appointment, he found the infant in a bathtub, according to police. He drove them both to a hospital, where Lane, holding the still-wrapped baby, told staff she had suffered a miscarriage.

Police said she then admitted the child wasn't hers.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebecer accused in massive Aussie drug bust to remain in custody until trial

    World News CBC News
    A Quebec woman accused of trying to import a large amount of cocaine into Australia last year will remain in custody until her trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 28. A lawyer for Mélina Roberge of Granby, Que. Source
  • Quebec woman accused of smuggling drugs in Australia abandons bail bid

    Canada News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia - One of three Quebecers accused of trying to import a large amount of cocaine into Australia last year will remain in custody until her trial is scheduled to begin on Aug. 28. Source
  • UN hosts new round of Syrian peace talks in Geneva

    World News CTV News
    GENEVA -- Yet another sequel to chronically-fruitless Syria peace talks, or an entirely new script? After months of Syria bloodshed, stalled humanitarian aid deliveries and stop-and-start diplomacy, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura is reconvening talks between government and opposition delegations on Thursday, in the latest bid to end the country's catastrophic six-year war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more. Source
  • Minor quake hits off B.C. an hour after one in Washington State

    Canada News CTV News
    PORT HARDY, B.C. - A magnitude 4.4 earthquake rumbled off the coast of British Columbia late Wednesday night. Natural Resources Canada says it struck southwest of Port Alice on northern Vancouver island at a depth of about 10 kilometres. Source
  • Immigrants in U.S. changing routines amid rising fears of deportation

    World News CTV News
    In Orange County, California, dozens of immigrant parents have signed legal documents authorizing friends and relatives to pick up their children from school and access their bank accounts to pay their bills in the event they are arrested by immigration agents. Source
  • Magnitude 4.4 earthquake hits on northern Vancouver Island

    Canada News CBC News
    A magnitude 4.4 earthquake rumbled off the coast of British Columbia late Wednesday night. Natural Resources Canada says it struck southwest of Port Alice on Vancouver Island at a depth of about 10 kilometres. The federal agency says there are no reports of damage and none are expected. Source
  • Malaysia asks for Interpol's help in tracking suspects in Kim Jong Nam killing

    World News CTV News
    Malaysia's National Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar, centre, is surrounded by journalists in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. (AP) Source
  • Iraqi forces storm Mosul airport in battle against ISIS

    World News CBC News
    U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces closing in on the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul stormed the city's airport and a nearby military base on Thursday, state television said. Counterterrorism service (CTS) troops and elite interior ministry units known as Rapid Response descended on the airport early on Thursday and the nearby Ghozlani military complex, CTS spokesman Sabah al-Numan told state TV. Source
  • Landlord accused of killing tenant over unpaid rent

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK - A New York City landlord is accused of stabbing his tenant to death following an apparent dispute over unpaid rent. Police responding to a 911 call of a person stabbed in front of a home in the Bronx Wednesday night found the tenant, 44-year-old Zakir Khan, with multiple stab wounds. Source
  • Iraqi forces push into Mosul's main military base

    World News CTV News
    Two policemen sit atop of their armoured vehicle as Iraqi Federal police deploy after regaining control of the town of Abu Saif, west of Mosul, Iraq on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (AP / Khalid Mohammed) Source