Woman Convicted of Cutting Unborn Baby From Womb

Mother lived, but baby did not survive
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2016 11:54 AM CST
Woman Convicted of Cutting Unborn Baby From Womb
From left, defense attorneys Kathryn Herold and Jen Beck stand with Dynel Lane as the jury enters the courtroom before closing statements in Boulder, Colo., on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016.   (Matthew Jonas/Daily Camera via AP)

Jurors have convicted a Colorado woman of cutting a stranger's baby from her womb in a gruesome case that reignited the debate over the legal rights of fetuses. The jury found Dynel Lane guilty of attempted first-degree murder, assault, and unlawful termination of a pregnancy in last year's attack, the AP reports. Prosecutors say Lane went to great lengths to convince others she was expecting a baby before luring Michelle Wilkins to her home with a Craigslist ad for maternity clothes. She then hit and choked Wilkins before using two kitchen knives to cut out the unborn girl.

Wilkins, who was 7 1/2 months pregnant, survived, but her baby died. Prosecutors say they couldn't charge Lane with murder because a coroner found no evidence the fetus lived outside the womb. That prompted Republican legislation that would've allowed murder charges for killing a fetus, but Democrats rejected it. Colorado lawmakers feared such a law would be used to restrict abortions. The jury reached a decision on Lane's fate Tuesday morning after a total of about seven hours of deliberations. (More attempted murder stories.)

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