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Woman Cut Fetus Out of Other Woman to Fake Pregnancy, Sentenced to 100 Years

Dynel Lane told everyone she was pregnant, despite having her tubes tied. As her due date grew closer, Lane became desperate and that's when Michelle Wilkins, 7-months pregnant showed up on her doorstep.
Screen capture via KVDR

Dynel Lane, 35, a former nurse aid, was sentenced to 100 years in prison for her assault on Michelle Wilkins, a pregnant woman whom Lane attacked before cutting the fetus out of her body. Wilkins survived, but her baby did not.

At the time of the attack, which took place in 2015, Wilkins was seven months pregnant. She had responded to a Craigslist ad posted by Lane advertising maternity clothes. Once inside Lane's house, Lane attacked the soon-to-be-mother, beat her, choked her, stabbed her, and cut into her abdomen, eventually removing the fetus from Wilkins' body.


"When she got closer, she just bore down with her whole weight on the heel of her hand over my windpipe, and I just remember everything going black," Wilkins testified in Boulder, Colorado.

Eventually, Wilkins awoke inside Lane's basement. She was covered in blood, her abdomen cut hip to hip, and her unborn baby was gone, yet she managed to call 911.

Doctors who treated Wilkins told police that the incision appeared to have been made by someone who had researched C-sections.

Wilkins of Dr. Phil

During the trial, Lane's former boyfriend, David Ridley, testified that Lane told him she was pregnant early in their relationship—despite already having her tubes tied. Over the following months, Lane kept up the ruse of being pregnant to Ridley, friends, and family by pretending to go to doctor's appointments and having a baby shower. The couple picked the name James for their impending baby.

Ridley testified that as the due date grew closer, Lane's lie began to unravel. "She would say she had doctor appointments and we would take off work and sit in waiting rooms for hours, and something would always go wrong and she'd get agitated and we'd wind up leaving," he said.

Ridley told the Boulder jury that he came home one day in March of 2015, to find Lane laying in a bloody bathtub, clutching a small baby. Lane was later taken to the same hospital where Wilkins was being treated.

A jury convicted Lane in February of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Prosecutors did not pursue a murder charge for Wilkin's unborn child, as Colorado law doesn't recognize a fetus as a person unless it is able to survive outside of the womb for a period of time.


At the sentencing Friday, Wilkins spoke directly to Lane, through tears, reading a statement, while a photo of her unborn baby, who she had named Aurora, was shown to the court.

"You knowingly left me to die multiple times," she said. "The only tears you shed during the trial were those of self-pity, to the sound of your own voice as your lies were slowly revealed. Yet, even now, you cannot come clean about what actually occurred… I believe you should receive the maximum penalty because I believe that you have lost the privilege to live in our society."

Lane testified at the sentencing hearing on April 29 that she had never recovered from the death of her own child back in 2002 and that she was desperate to have another baby.

"They will never get to see her learn to crawl, or walk, or talk, or sing," District Court Chief Judge Maria Berkenkotter, said as she sentenced Lane to 100 years in prison.

"This case is unique, and as far as I have been able to determine, there has never been a fetal abduction case quite like this anywhere in the United States," Boulder County District Attorney Stanley Garnett told Broadly. He added, "I was pleased with the sentence. It was just."