Milwaukee, WI – A Milwaukee woman was sentenced to life in prison on Thursday for the murder of 23-year-old Maritza Ramirez-Cruz and her unborn child. Annette Morales-Rodriguez was convicted of murder after she killed Ramirez-Cruz, removed her unborn child from her uterus, then tried to pass the child off as her own.
In September, The Associated Press reported on a video taped confession that was played during the trial. In the video the defendant admitted to killing Ramirez-Cruz and performing a crude operation to remove the child. Morales-Rodriguez confessed to police on the video that she desperately wanted to have a child for her boyfriend, even going as far as faking a pregnancy. She claimed that doctors told her that she was unable to have a child. She also admitted to having faked two previous pregnancies, then claiming to friends and family that she had miscarried.
Morales-Rodriguez met the victim at a Hispanic community center and offered her a ride to the store to purchase some medication. In an act that she confessed she had previously planned, The defendant took Ramirez-Cruz to her home to use the restroom. When she emerged from the restroom, Morales-Rodriguez hit her over the head with a baseball bat. She then used a small blade to remove her unborn child.
Another Associated Press article describes the defense of Morales-Rodriguez:
“Morales-Rodriguez didn’t testify during her trial, and her defense attorneys, who didn’t deny that she attacked Ramirez-Cruz, didn’t call any witnesses. Instead, they argued that the 2011 deaths of Ramirez-Cruz and her baby were reckless but not intentional because Morales-Rodriguez didn’t mean for the victims to die.”
Reuters reported on Thursday that Morales-Rodriguez had been convicted of two counts of murder and will be spending the rest of her life in prison.