Woman sentenced for killing expectant mom, stealing baby from her body

NEW YORK -- A New York woman was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after she killed her pregnant friend and then ripped the baby out of her body to claim it as her own.

It's a story so horrible that one of the jurors fainted upon seeing the evidence during trial, according to WPIX.

"I'm so, so sorry," Ashleigh Wade, 24 said, tears running down her cheeks so heavily that the court clerk handed her a stack of tissues.

"No words can say how sorry I am. I'm sorry for hurting so many people. I wish I knew why."

Her defense of extreme emotional disturbance had been rejected by the jury, which found her guilty last month of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of kidnapping.

It happened almost exactly two years ago, on Nov. 20, 2015.

That's when Sutton, 22, stopped by Wade's house, ostensibly to pick up a baby gift. It turned out to be a trap that Wade had premeditated.

When Sutton dropped by on her way to her wedding at the Bronx Courthouse, Wade stabbed Sutton 50 times, with the first set of slashes to Sutton's face and neck, slashing her victim's larynx so she couldn't scream.

When it was evident Sutton could no longer fight back, Wade cut out Sutton's uterus and delivered the baby herself.

Wade had spent the nine months before the killing faking a pregnancy. She even set up a baby shower registry in her name.

Detectives arrested Wade shortly after the incident, from which the baby survived. The child is now a toddler, named Jenasis, and she was present at Wednesday's sentencing.

"Jenasis is a miracle baby," State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Clancy said.

She called the killing "carefully planned and researched," and said Wade "studied and planned how to kill and take the baby."

The child, a week short of her second birthday, is too young to understand what had happened in court.

However, as the judge and prosecutor Meredith Holtzman pointed out, Jenasis will always ask questions about her mother, who was a recent graduate of St. John's University and was the daughter of a Protestant church bishop.

"She will inevitably know that the day of her birth will be forever tainted" by the death that had happened at the same time, Clancy said.

Noting that, the judge said, she felt compelled to give Wade the maximum sentence, 25 years to life.

Clancy also sentenced Wade to 15 years in prison for kidnapping, plus five years probation.

All of the sentences will be served concurrently, allowing Wade to go free by 2040, unless a parole board rules otherwise.

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