BOULDER, Colo. — The suspect accused of stabbing a pregnant woman and cutting her fetus out of her womb was not charged with murder for the baby’s death on Friday, but she was charged with first degree attempted murder as well as unlawful termination of a pregnancy in the first degree.
In addition to those felony charges, 34-year-old Dynel Lane is also facing seven other counts, which include four total counts of felony assault, for the gruesome March 16 incident that ended in the death of Michelle Wilkins' baby girl and left the 26-year-old expecting mother fighting for her life.
As severe as the charges filed against Lane on Friday were -- the maximum sentence for first-degree attempted murder in Colorado is 48 years -- many had hoped she would face murder charges for ultimately terminating the life of Wilkins' 34-week-old girl. However, an autopsy completed by the Boulder County Coroner's Office on Wednesday revealed the child showed no signs of life outside the womb, making it impossible for the District Attorney to seek murder charges.
Lane will, however, face a first degree charge of unlawful termination of a pregnancy, which carries a maximum sentence of 32 years.
Wilkins, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was responding to an ad on Craigslist for baby clothes on March 18 at the home of seller Dynel Lane when Longmont police said Lane attacked her, opened her womb and took the baby girl, leaving Wilkins bleeding in the basement.
Wilkins called 911 and was rescued by first responders. She had surgery at Longmont United Hospital and had been recovering. She was released from the hospital Wednesday.
Lane allegedly took the unborn fetus to Longmont United, saying she had miscarriage. She was later arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and child abuse knowingly/recklessly resulting in death.