A 27-year-old Colorado woman appeared in court for the first time Wednesday to recount the grisly details of how she was split open, hip to hip, with a kitchen knife and had her fetus removed after responding to a Craigslist ad offering maternity clothes.
As the Washington Post reports, Michelle Wilkins had lost half of her blood and was struggling to keep her intestines from spilling out of her body after the attack.
Miraculously, she was still able to place a 911 call that saved her life.
In March 2015, Wilkins went to the house of Dynel Lane 35, who had posted a Craiglist ad offering maternity clothes. Wilkins visited Lane’s home for what was supposed to be a straightforward business interaction. Innocently enough, as they sorted through maternity clothes, Lane struck up a conversation about shopping and pregnancy with Wilkins.
Wilkins noticed that she was extremely chatty for a stranger and felt she was lonely with a need just to talk to anyone.
“Several times I told her I needed to go. I felt I was being thoughtful, you know, listening to her and being kind to her. But eventually I said, ‘I really have to go.'”
Wilkins testified that Lane convinced her to follow her into the basement and take a look at another batch of maternity clothes. But when Wilkins turned to leave, things spiraled out of control. Lane hit her in the face, and a vicious altercation ensued as Wilkins wrestled with Lane in an attempt to escape.
Lane pushed Wilkins into a bedroom, pinning her to the ground and straddling her chest. Wilkins said her assailant tried to suffocate her with a pillow, but she managed to knock the pillow out of her hands. Wilkins recollects Lane smashing a glass bottle over her head before losing consciousness.
When she regained consciousness, she noticed a deep cut across her abdomen. Wilkins attempted to stand and lock the door of the bedroom. But her legs were weak and she fell awkwardly on her hands.
“I felt blood seeping through pants and I could feel my intestines outside of my body.”
— The Age (@theage) February 19, 2016
Wilkins realized she was too weak to escape. But managed to bolt the bedroom door and make a 911 call after locating her cell phone that had been lost in the struggle.
In the 911 audio recording, Wilkins told the dispatcher she had been stabbed in the stomach. The dispatcher kept Wilkins on the phone for six minutes, telling her to use anything to stem the bleeding until officers arrived on the scene.
“Don’t go to sleep,” the dispatcher told her repeatedly.
You can hear portions of the 911 call in the video below, but be warned: this video contains material that may be upsetting to some readers.
Lane was no longer in the house at the time. She was at a hospital, claiming she had suffered a miscarriage but refused to be tested.
Earlier testimony suggests that Lane was obsessed with getting pregnant and may have brutally assaulted Wilkins because of the ultimatum issued by her former boyfriend, David Ridley. Ridley testified in court that Lane’s due date was always changing and stretched to over 14 months. Ridley said Lane was always sending photos of her protruding belly and ultrasound images of the “baby boy” she was expecting.
He added that she had a baby shower and shared pictures on social media of her baby bump. But he grew suspicious after many months passed and issued her an ultimatum to see a doctor or forget about the relationship. They were both due for a pre-natal appointment on the day of the attack. Lane called him on the phone and claimed she had unexpectantly delivered the baby at home and lost it.
Dynel Lane has been charged with an unlawful termination of a pregnancy and attempted murder. She has pleaded not guilty and has not been charged with killing the baby, because a fetus is not regarded as a living person in Colorado. The defense says there is no evidence that the unborn child survived outside the womb and argue that the attack was not planned or premeditated but was fueled by impulse.
Her nine-day trial continues Thursday. Lane, who sat stoically throughout proceedings, remains in custody on a $2 million bond.
[Image via Shutterstock/kaprik]