A seven-month pregnant woman answered a Craiglist ad that was placed for baby clothes on March 18. When Michelle Wilkins went to the seller’s house, she got the surprise of her life. The expectant mother was beaten and cut open. Her fetus was removed from her womb, but it did not survive. According to USA Today, prosecutor Stanley Garnett of Boulder County, Colorado, said the former certified nurse’s aide who removed the fetus will not face murder charges.
Even though 34-year-old Dynel Lane is being held on a $2 million bond, many are wondering why she is not facing a murder charge. If she hadn’t allegedly cut open the victim, the fetus would still be alive inside Wilkins’ womb. Lane’s husband is not a suspect this case. He believed his wife was pregnant, and the dead fetus was hers after a miscarriage. He arrived home to find the fetus in the bathtub. He took the fetus and his wife to the hospital, where she was later arrested.
The Denver Post reported that the decision has been confirmed by the district attorney’s office that there will be no murder charge against Lane for removing the seven-month-old fetus from Wilkins’ womb because it was two months shy of being a person.
Because Colorado does not recognize a fetus as a person, prosecutors are saying it is difficult to charge Lane with murder. Colorado state law says a fetus must survive for a period of time outside the womb before it is considered to be a person. Because the fetus did not survive, no murder charge can be legally enforced.
After the attack and the ordeal that Wilkins went through, she was admitted to Longmont United Hospital and spent four days in critical condition. She has now been treated and released. The 26-year-old victim has been commended for her strength and her quick thinking to lock herself inside a room and call 911. Despite her gruesome ordeal, she did all she could to minimize the bleeding until help arrived. Police who responded said it was a grisly scene.
This is an unfortunate situation, and one that has lawmakers trying to decide what charges to bring against Lane. Since she will not be charged with murder, prosecutors say she could be charged with a class three felony for the unwanted termination of a pregnancy.
Because of Wilkins’ ordeal and medical bills, her family set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for her care. The goal was for $75,000, and $86,725 has already been raised to help her. A check for $1,000 was refunded to Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt who remarked that what happened to Wilkins was “an act of God.”
[Image via Getty Images]