Michelle Wilkins describes Craigslist attack in which fetus was cut from her womb – The Denver Post

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District Attorney Stan Garnett shows pictures of the defendant, Dynel Lane, pretending to be pregnant on a screen in a Boulder District courtroom during opening statements on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016.

Dynel Lane appears in a Boulder District courtroom with her attorneys on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016.

Michelle Wilkins takes the stand in a Boulder District courtroom on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016

DPTV VIDEO: Michelle Wilkins testifies about her fetus being cut from her womb
BOULDER — The first woman walked into the emergency room carrying a baby that never took her first breath.
A second woman was rolled into the same trauma bay half an hour later, bleeding from a gash that stretched across her abdomen and unaware her 7-month-old fetus had been cut from her womb.
Details of what brought both women to the Longmont emergency room on March 18 emerged in a Boulder courtroom Wednesday. In an emotional first day of testimony, jurors were given a glimpse of the attack that left Michelle Wilkins, 27, bleeding, alone and close to death in a basement.
Dynel Lane, 35, has pleaded not guilty to the six felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. Prosecutors said the fetus never took a breath.
In his opening statements, District Attorney Stan Garnett said Lane was “obsessed” with pregnancy and lied to her longtime boyfriend about a fake pregnancy for more than a year. She attended a baby shower and picked out the name James.
Defense attorneys offered little explanation for the attack they called “hasty, impulsive and reckless.” Lane never had any intention of killing Wilkins, they said.
But prosecutors and Wilkins described a brutal ambush that left Wilkins bleeding and unconscious as Lane cleaned up around her for roughly an hour. At one point, Lane shoved Wilkins off the bed to the floor to strip away the bloody sheets, Garnett said.
Jurors were shown photos of the bare mattress covered in deep, red patches of blood with blood smeared on the surrounding walls.
Wilkins’ soft voice trembled as she described how a chance meeting spiraled into the bizarre attack. It began March 17 when Wilkins responded to a Craigslist ad for free maternity clothes.
In a text to Lane, Wilkins asked if the clothes were still available: “Would love to have. Belly is bigger than ever!!”
The two women met at Lane’s home shortly before noon the next day and together went through maternity clothes, Wilkins said. They talked about pregnancy, shopping at thrift stores and their partners.
Lane appeared lonely. Every time Wilkins said she needed to leave, Lane spoke over her. When Wilkins opened the door to leave, Lane closed it.
Eventually, Wilkins said she turned to leave and began walking up the stairs from the basement. That’s when she felt Lane hit her in the back.
“She was pulling at my sweater, kind of scratched at me,” Wilkins said. Wilkins said she asked if a spider had been on her shoulder.
“I think I got it,” Lane responded.
But she said Lane hit her again. Then again.
When Wilkins confronted her, Lane became angry and threatened to call the police. Wilkins offered to call the police herself, which she said appeared to prompt Lane to start punching her with her fists.
Eventually, Lane pushed Wilkins backward onto a bed, Wilkins said. The two wrestled, with Lane trying to choke Wilkins. Lane smashed a glass bottle over Wilkins’ head.
“I kept saying, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ” Wilkins said. She then told Lane, “I don’t know why you’re doing this, but I love you.”
She said Lane responded, “If you love me, you’ll let me do this,” before stabbing Wilkins in the neck with a shard of broken glass.
Every time she pushed Lane off of her, Wilkins thought of her daughter.
“I wanted to survive for her, so I fought back harder,” Wilkins said, choking back tears.
But Lane was able to pin both of Wilkins’ arms beneath her knees and with all of her weight, Lane pressed the heel of her hand into Wilkins’ throat.
Everything went dark, Wilkins said.
The pain in her stomach was overwhelming when she woke up. Wilkins realized her feet and legs couldn’t support her when she tried to walk. Still, she said she “willed” herself to close the bedroom door. Wilkins then fell back on the bed.
“I could feel my intestines outside my body,” she said.
Wilkins called 911, and she spent six minutes on the phone with the dispatcher begging for help. A recording was played for the jury.
“She cut me,” Wilkins said. In a pained, breathless voice, Wilkins told the dispatcher that she was seven months pregnant.
“I’m pregnant. She cut me in my stomach,” she said.
When the first officer arrived, she reached out and clasped hands with Longmont police Officer Billy Sawyer. He urged Wilkins to put pressure on the deep cut across her stomach.
“She was covered, I mean covered head to toe, in blood,” Sawyer testified.
Wilkins told Sawyer she was pregnant as he tried to assess her wounds.
Shortly before Sawyer arrived at the home, Lane’s partner, David Ridley, came home early from work to take Lane to a doctor’s appointment. Inside, he found Lane standing in front of a closed door in the basement. Her hands were covered in blood.
She explained that she had given birth in the bathtub upstairs. Ridley told jurors that he found the fetus in the upstairs bathtub. He cradled the head, looking for signs of life.
He never saw any.
The two rushed to Longmont United Hospital. Inside the emergency room, Lane cried out to doctors, “Save my baby! Save him! Save him!”
Dr. Leslie Armstrong said she tried to restart the tiny heart but couldn’t. Before she declared a time of death, she told Lane that she had, in fact, just had a daughter, not a son.
Lane refused treatment in the emergency room, Armstrong said.
As she explained her concerns about bleeding to Lane, a nurse alerted Armstrong that a stabbing victim was en route to the hospital. Just five minutes away.
“I didn’t want to traumatize this family any more,” Armstrong told jurors.
So Armstrong quickly ordered Lane be taken to a different floor. There it would later be determined Lane was not pregnant. She would tell a different doctor that Wilkins attacked her and she killed her in self-defense, Garnett said.
Lane told the doctor that she removed the fetus in an attempt to save it.
But unaware of this, Armstrong prepped the emergency room for a pregnant patient with a gash that stretched from “hip bone to hip bone.” The wound was large enough that two doctors each had two hands inside searching for the source of the bleeding.
“She was barely alive,” Armstrong said.
It wasn’t until the next morning that Wilkins woke up and discovered that she had lost the baby she had planned to name Aurora.
Jordan Steffen: 303-954-1794, jsteffen@denverpost.com or @jsteffendp
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