A Colorado woman was sentenced to 100 years in prison for cutting a baby from a stranger's womb, and also received the maximum penalties for attempted murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.
According to CNN, the attack reportedly occurred in 2015 with the former nurse, identified as Dynel Lane, 35, describing the process as her performing a cesarean with a kitchen knife. Judge Maria Berkenkotter said the harshest of sentences for the most serious charges were justified by the grusome attack. Berkenkotter also reported that the victim, Michelle Wilkins, and her family needed Lane to express remorse for what she did.
When the judge asked her to speak on Friday, Lane simple said "no." She also refused to speak in her own defense during her trial, which concluded in February with jurors finding her guilty of attempting to kill Wilkins after luring her to her home with a crafted ad for maternity clothes.
During the trial, the jury learned Lane went to great lengths to fake her own pregnancy before attacking Wilkins. They reportedly did not know, however, that Lane's 19-month-old son drowned in what investigators have deemed an accident. Lane's relatives, who spoke on her behalf prior to her sentencing on Friday, said her grief over losing her son may have led her to act out in a way they could neither understand nor explain.
According to Lane's attorneys, while she did carry out the attack, there was no evidence in place to prove it was a calculated murder attempt. On the grounds of this theory, they urged jurors to convict Lane of the lesser charge of attempted manslaughter.
Berkenkotter eventually sentenced Lane to a total of 100 years in prison: 48 years for attempted murder, 32 years for unlawful termination of a pregnancy, and the remainder for assault charges in the attack.
Following the sentencing, Wilkins said she saw the hearing as a day in court for her daughter, whom she named Aurora.
(Photo: Matthew Jonas/The Daily Times Call via AP)
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