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

  • Smoker arrested after yelling death threats on plane

    World News CTV News
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Officials say a woman caught trying to smoke on a Southwest flight has been arrested after shouting she was going to kill everyone on the plane. Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Shaun Hampton said Monday that 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo was arrested on the tarmac when the plane landed Saturday. Source
  • Toronto library board revising room-booking policy after controversial memorial

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - The Toronto Public Library board voted Monday evening in favour of changing its rental policy following a controversial memorial at a west-end branch this summer. The memorial was held in July for Barbara Kulaszka, a lawyer whose clients included Marc Lemire, the leader of the now-disbanded white supremacy group Heritage Front. Source
  • Alabama foes make final push before big Senate vote

    World News CTV News
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Facing voters at last after the year's most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama Republican Roy Moore cast himself Monday as the victim of a national barrage of unjust allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Source
  • Six-year-old boy's quick thinking helps save diabetic mother's life

    Canada News CTV News
    A vigilant six-year-old boy is being heralded by his community with a “Citizen Life-Saving Award” for quick-thinking that helped save his mother’s life. Denise McCormack was at home with her son Ronan Male when she slipped into a diabetic coma in May. Source
  • Alabama foes get in final licks before Tuesday's big vote

    World News CBC News
    Facing voters after the year's most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama Republican Roy Moore cast himself Monday as the victim of a national barrage of unjust allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Rival Doug Jones, hoping to become the state's first Democratic senator in two decades, declared their race was Alabama's referendum on "who we are and what we're going to tell our daughters. Source
  • Republican Moore embraces Trump message on eve of Alabama election

    World News CBC News
    Facing voters after the year's most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama Republican Roy Moore cast himself Monday as the victim of a national barrage of unjust allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Rival Doug Jones, hoping to become the state's first Democratic senator in two decades, declared their race was Alabama's referendum on "who we are and what we're going to tell our daughters. Source
  • New Yorker fires reporter Ryan Lizza over alleged sexual misconduct

    World News CBC News
    The New Yorker magazine said Monday it has cut ties with well-known political reporter Ryan Lizza for alleged sexual misconduct. The magazine recently learned Lizza had "engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct," a spokeswoman said. Source
  • Mexican journalist in U.S. fears he'll be killed if deported

    World News CTV News
    HOUSTON -- Advocates for a Mexican journalist detained in a remote West Texas facility asked the U.S. government on Monday to grant him asylum instead of deporting him to a country where he believes he'll be killed. Source
  • N.L. man who attacked girlfriend with coat hanger gets discharge

    Canada News CTV News
    A 20-year-old man who was found guilty of attacking his ex-girlfriend has been granted a discharge after his lawyer argued a criminal record would “hamper his plans” for the future. Judge Lori Marshall granted Lancelot Saunders an absolute discharge after Saunders’s lawyer said the man had plans to attend Memorial University. Source
  • Edmonton boy, 6, awarded for quick thinking that saved his mother's life

    Canada News CBC News
    When six-year-old Ronan Male saw his mother collapse in their Edmonton home last spring, he knew exactly what to do. Denise McCormack has managed her diabetes for 30 years. That night, her blood sugars fell dangerously low and she fell out of bed. Source