Michelle Wilkins, the woman who lived through the terrifying ordeal of having her baby cut out of her stomach, relived the traumatic incident when she testified during opening statements in a Boulder, Colorado, courtroom on Wednesday.
The New York Daily News reports that, while trying to hold back tears, Wilkins, 27, testified against Dynel Lane, 35, the woman she met via Craigslist while searching for clothes for her unborn daughter, Aurora. Wilkins was seven months pregnant when she met Lane at her home on March 18, 2015, to look at baby clothes. Instead, however, Lane is accused of knocking Wilkins over the head with a glass bottle and using two knives to cut her baby from her stomach.
Wilkins stated her meeting with Lane started out friendly enough. She talked to Lane for about an hour after arriving at her home and said Lane seemed lonely. Lane told Wilkins that she was pregnant, as well, and overdue, although according to Wilkins, she didn’t look pregnant. As Wilkins got up to leave, Lane would shut the door and try to convince her to stay.
When Wilkins finally made her way out and started walking upstairs from the basement, she said Lane started attacking her from behind.
“As I was going upstairs towards the door, she struck me from behind. It’s hard to describe… she hit me, and then… it was almost like pulling on my sweater and scratching at me.”
Wilkins said she jerked away from Lane and asked what she was doing, but instead of answering, Lane asked a strange question, scaring Wilkins even further.
“Why would you go in someone’s house and do that to them?”
Feeling that Lane was unstable, Wilkins backed away as much as possible, holding her hands up and telling Lane she didn’t want any trouble, she just wanted to leave. Wilkins testified that Lane then told her that she was calling the police, pushed her into a bathroom, and then into a bedroom. When Wilkins pulled out her cellphone to call the police herself, Lane began attacking her with a bottle.
Trying to diffuse the situation as much as possible, Wilkins told Lane that she loved her and didn’t understand why she was being attacked.
“I said, ‘I don’t know why you’re doing this, I love you.’ She said, ‘If you love me, you’ll let me do this.’ And then she stabbed [the bottle] into my neck. I just remember everything was wet and slippery, I remember when she stabbed me. She removed it and then she continued to choke me.”
Wilkins continued with testimony, stating that Lane straddled her, pressing her entire weight on her and pushing a hand into her windpipe. Everything went dark for Wilkins for a while, and when she regained consciousness, she felt an incredible sting in her abdomen.
“My first instinct was to get up but I felt this really intense pain in my stomach… I looked down and you know… I just saw this really big cut across my stomach. I could feel my intestines outside of my body.”
As she unsteadily stood up, Wilkins clambered to find her phone. She called 911, but the details of the conversation with the dispatcher remain hazy as she was in intense pain and confusion. Help arrived shortly after, and Wilkins was placed on a stretcher and taken to the Longmont United Hospital emergency room. This was the same emergency room where her infant daughter, Aurora, had been taken just 30 minutes earlier by Lane, who claimed the baby as her own.
According to Dr. Leslie Armstrong, Lane rushed into the hospital, screaming for someone to save her baby.
“Save my baby! Save him! Save him!”
Wilkins’ daughter didn’t survive. Armstrong said that she tried to get the baby’s heart started, but failed to do so. Armstrong also said she also informed Lane she just had a little girl, not a boy. Prosecutors stated that the baby never even took her first breath.
Lane sat while her eyes cast downward for the majority of the time, Wilkins testified. Her defense team didn’t offer up much of an explanation, aside from calling the attack “hasty, impulsive and reckless.” The defense did say, however, that Lane never had any intentions of murdering Wilkins.
The issues with Lane started well before she met Wilkins, according to District Attorney Stan Garnett’s opening statements. Garnett claimed that Lane was obsessed with pregnancy and had gone to extremes to convince her friends and family that she was pregnant, including posting online photos of herself with a fake pregnant belly.
Lane pleaded not guilty to all charges against her, which include charges of first-degree unlawful termination of pregnancy, attempted first-degree murder, and first-degree assault. The charges enraged many people in the pro-life movement since Lane wasn’t charged with murder for baby Aurora. Colorado is one of the few states that rejects the charge of killing an unborn infant as a homicide.
[Photo by Boulder County Jail]