Both sides rest in case of woman charged in cutting fetus from womb

BOULDER, Colo. -- The prosecution and defense rested their cases Friday in the trial of Dynel Lane, the woman charged with attacking a seven-months pregnant woman and cutting the fetus from the womb, then claiming the baby was hers.

Lane has pleaded not guilty to six felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy, for the March 18, 2015 attack that left Michelle Wilkins' unborn daughter Aurora dead.

After Boulder County prosecutors rested, defense attorneys asked Judge Maria Berkotter to drop all of the charges, but it was denied. Lane then said she would not testify, and the defense team rested its case without calling any witnesses.

Berkotter sent the jury home for the weekend. Both sides will give closing arguments Monday before the case is handed to the jury.

Berkotter later ruled the jurors could consider lesser but included charges.

"We're not saying she's innocent. We're saying she's guilty of a lesser charge," a defense attorney argued.

Wilkins went to Lane's home after responding to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes. Lane is accused of attacking Wilkins, then cutting out the fetus from Wilkins' womb.

Lane also is accused of then leaving Wilkins for dead in her home's basement. Wilkins recounted the attack in testimony on Wednesday.

On Thursday, the jury heard from doctors and police as physical and forensic evidence was presented.

Before resting Friday, the prosecution played a taped interview as Lane was questioned by detectives from the Longmont Police Department. Lane told investigators that it was Wilkins who had a knife and tried to stab her.

"She had a knife, the one I think I opened the box," Lane said. "I think that's how I cut my hand. I felt completely, she just, I don't even know."

Lane told police in the interview that she showed Wilkins a baby bath in the basement and when Wilkins looked at it, said she didn't want it and pulled out a knife. Lane claims the two then struggled but then she began to choke Wilkins.

"She just wouldn't stop," Lane told detectives. "I'm trying to make sense of it all. After she stopped moving, I got scared."

Lane then told detectives that after Wilkins stopped moving, she feared the baby would die, so she cut her open and took out the baby.

"I didn't want the baby to die," she said.

Defense attorneys have argued the attack was made impulsively and that it wasn't planned. Lane could be sentenced to 140 years in prison if she is convicted on all counts. She remains jailed on a $2 million bond.

 


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