Dynel Lane will face eight felony charges for her actions in March, however, murder will not be one of them. The 34-year-old is suspected of luring Michelle Wilkins, a 26-year-old pregnant woman, to her Longmont home with a Craigslist ad promising baby clothes for sale.
Lane allegedly attacked Wilkins, stabbing her and cutting out the fetus from her body. According to District Attorney Stan Garnett, the attacker will not be facing murder charges because there was no proof the fetus had ever lived outside the womb.
Under Colorado criminal law, homicide is defined as one person killing another. The law describes a “person” in this instance, as a human being who was born and was alive at the time of the homicide. Without proof of a live birth, the District Attorney’s hands are tied.
The charges Lane will face include unlawful termination of pregnancy, first-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, and two counts of a crime of violence.
On the day of the attack, Wilkins apparently visited Lane’s home in Longmont expecting to look at baby clothes Lane had advertised online. Lane then attacked Wilkins, stabbing her in the belly and removing her 7-month old fetus from her womb.
Lane’s husband, David Ridley, who believed her to be pregnant, arrived at the home a few hours later to take her for a prenatal checkup. Lane, covered in blood, met him at the door telling him she had miscarried, and that the baby was upstairs in the bathtub. Ridley retrieved the baby from the tub and drove it and his wife to the hospital. Ridley returned home later to get his stepdaughters and was met by police who had been summoned in the meantime by Wilkin’s 911 call.
Police found Lane at Longmont United Hospital, where she reported to nurses she had miscarried. However, she refused to undergo an exam, and detectives saw no signs that Lane had given birth. She finally divulged to police that she had cut Wilkins open to remove her baby. Lane was later arrested at the hospital.
Neither the investigation nor the autopsy has yet to reveal any proof that the fetus displayed any signs of life outside the womb, evidence necessary to establish a live birth and satisfy the conditions for a homicide charge.
Lane continues to be held on $2 million bail while she awaits a May hearing.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Lawyers
Colorado laws are very complicated. As such, if you have been accused of a crime, you need a law firm on your side from the very beginning. Never speak to prosecutors without first speaking to a lawyer. Your attorney can begin building your defense quickly and ensure that you receive a fair trial from the start. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.