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Saturday 2 December 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Matthew Jonas/The Daily Times Call via AP District Attorney Stan Garnett shows pictures of the defendant, Dynel Lane, accused of cutting a stranger's unborn baby from her womb.

'I was asking her why she was doing it' - Woman whose unborn baby was taken from her womb after answering internet ad

Michelle Wilkins testified she went to Lane’s home in response to a Craigslist ad offering free maternity clothes.

A WOMAN WHOSE baby was cut from her womb by someone she just met testified this week that she told herself she had to survive for the sake of her unborn daughter and tried to fight back.

But Michelle Wilkins said Dynel Lane continued to choke and beat her in the 18 March 2015, attack, and she eventually lost consciousness. When she came to, she said, she was bleeding profusely from her abdomen and made a desperate call to 911.

Wilkins’ child didn’t survive — something Wilkins learned the next day in the hospital. Lane was charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

The case revived debate over the legal rights of foetuses and brought calls for a murder charge, which prosecutors said they couldn’t file because a coroner found no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb. Testimony in the trial began on Wednesday and is expected to continue into next week.

Wilkins testified she went to Lane’s home in response to a Craigslist ad offering free maternity clothes. She was 7 1/2 months pregnant.

She and Lane chatted for more than an hour before Lane took her to the basement to look at baby clothes.

When she tried to leave, Wilkins said, Lane began hitting, pushing and choking her. Lane then hit her over the head with what turned out to be a lava lamp.

“I just remember asking her why she was doing that,” Wilkins said. She told Lane she loved her, hoping she would stop.

Lane replied, “If you love me, you’ll let me do this,” and stabbed her in the neck with a piece of broken glass, Wilkins testified.

PastedImage-94291 Matthew Jonas / The Daily Times Call via AP Dynel Lane, accused of attacking Michelle Wilkins and cutting the Longmont woman's unborn child from her womb. Matthew Jonas / The Daily Times Call via AP / The Daily Times Call via AP

Wilkins, now 27, spoke in a trembling voice but remained calm and composed. She appeared to be near tears twice — when District Attorney Stan Garnett showed her photos of herself when she was pregnant and when she described learning her baby hadn’t survived.

Wilkins glanced at Lane only briefly, when Garnett asked her to identify her attacker.

Lane had no visible reaction and sat with her eyes cast downward. She was expressionless throughout the day’s testimony, wearing a gray pantsuit and a blue button-down shirt. A deputy removed her handcuffs when she entered the courtroom.

Garnett said Lane was obsessed with pregnancy and took elaborate measures to convince friends and family that she was expecting.

Her longtime boyfriend, David Ridley, testified that she sent him photos of herself with a distended belly and claimed for more than a year that she was having a boy.

Lane’s friends even threw her a baby shower.

Read: Pregnant woman stabbed and baby taken from her womb after answering internet ad

Associated Foreign Press
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