Baby cut from womb: Michelle Wilkins testifies

Posted at 7:03 AM, Feb 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-18 01:28:10-05

Heartbreaking testimony from a woman who was brutally attacked and whose baby was cut from her womb.

Michelle Wilkins came face to face again with the woman accused of the crime, testifying in Dynel Lane’s attempted murder trial.

Tears streamed down the victim's face as she described the attack.

In his opening statement,  Boulder County DA Stan  Garnett said the defendant was "obsessed" with pregnancy.  He said Lane even went so far as to take pictures of herself in maternity clothing, pretending to be pregnant.

Wilkins, who was seven months pregnant at the time, went to Lane’s house on March 18, 2015, in response to a Craigslist ad touting maternity clothes for sale.

Wilkins, now 27 years old, took the stand to testify against Lane Wednesday morning.

Wilkins said she found out that she was pregnant in September 2014.  She and the baby's father, Dan Ascik, agreed to raise the child together and moved to Boulder.

She said friends and family gave them nearly everything they needed for the baby, except a crib.

"We were prepared," she said.

Wilkins smiled briefly as Garnett struggled to load a map of Longmont.

Garnett then showed Wilkins photos of herself while she was still pregnant.  The defense objected to allowing the photos as evidence, but was overruled.

The photos were then displayed on a screen in court.

(PHOTO: Michelle Wilkins in early 2015)

Prosecutors then showed the court a screen shot of the Craigslist ad that Lane apparently posted as well as text messages between the two women about the ad.

Garnett asked Wilkins to describe her visit to Lane's house.

She said she looked at the clothes and talked with Lane for nearly an hour.  She said the defendant told her she too was pregnant and was two weeks overdue.

"She seemed lonely," Wilkins testified.

Wilkins said she was about to leave but Lane told her she had clothes for a baby girl that she wasn't going to need because she was expecting a boy.

"As I was going upstairs towards the door, she struck me from behind," Wilkins said.

(PHOTO: Michelle Wilkins testifies about her visit to Dynel Lane's home.)

"It's hard to describe," Wilkins said.  "She hit me, and then... it was almost like pulling on my sweater and scratching at me."

The witness said she jerked herself away from Lane and asked what she was doing. She said Lane replied, "Why would you go in someone's house and do that to them?"

That's when Wilkins began to think that Lane was unstable.

"I held up my hands and said 'I don't want to hurt you, I just want to leave,'" Wilkins testified.

Wilkins said Lane told her, "I don't trust you. You need to stay here while I call the cops."

That's when Lane started to push her towards the bathroom and then shoved her into the bedroom.

Wilkins said she got out her cell phone and threatened to call the police.

Wilkins said that's when Lane lunged for the phone and began hitting her in the face.

"She broke a bottle over my head," Wilkins testified.

"I said, 'I don't know why you're doing this, I love you,'" Wilkins testified. "She said, 'If you love me, you'll let me do this.'"

"And then she stabbed [the bottle] into my neck," said Wilkins, "I just remember everything was wet and slippery, I remember when she stabbed me. She removed it and then she continued to choke me."

"I was so caught up in the moment I wouldn't tell what the [wetness] was," Wilkins said. She described the bottle as looking like it was full of oil and water.

"Did you feel pain?" Garnett asked.

"Yes," Wilkins responded.

"After she broke the bottle over my head and stabbed me and she was trying to choke me... I remember thinking of Aurora and feeling like... I just thought of her and I wanted to survive... for her. So I fought back harder," Wilkins said. Her voice quavered with emotion.

"I remember she got up, she was straddling me and she went farther up and actually pinned me with her knees," said Wilkins. "She pinned down my arms with her legs... She bore down with her whole weight on the heel of her hand over my wind pipe. I just remember everything going black."

Garnett asked Wilkins what happened when she woke up.

"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," Wilkins said. "I could feel my intestines outside of my body."

"I started thinking, 'Maybe she's still in the house. I can't outrun her if I'm in so much pain... I started putting together an escape plan," Wilkins said. "I stood up and my feet couldn't support me so I fell forward."

Wilkins said she stumbled back to the bed to get her phone to call 911.

"I don't really remember much of the conversation [with the dispatcher]," Wilkins said. "They kept saying help was coming, that they were on their way."

Wilkins said she remembers seeing Officer Sawyer come through the door and he held her hand while checking her injuries.

Wilkins said they loaded her onto the stretcher and she remembers being rolled into the hospital.

"I just remember someone you know touching my wounds," Wilkins said. "It was so painful I just asked them to put me under... they said something along the lines of 'We're going to take care of you.'"

Wilkins said she didn't wake up until the next morning.

"When did you realize you were no longer pregnant with Aurora?" Garnett asked.

After a long pause, Wilkins answered, "It was not until the next day, in the hospital, when I woke up."

"Someone told you what happened to Aurora?" Garnet questioned.

"I think I realized," Wilkins said.

Wilkins testified that it was Aurora's father who later told her the baby girl didn't make it.

Garnett then showed Wilkins the sweater she was wearing the day of the attack.

On Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Leslie Armstrong, a physician at Longmont United Hospital, testified that Dynel Lane and a baby showed up in the emergency room, claiming the baby was hers.

"She said I delivered the baby in the bathtub," Armstrong testified. "She said, 'Save my baby. Save my baby.'"

During opening statements, Lane's defense attorney, Kathryn Herold, said he attack was chaotic and haphazard but wasn't planned.

Lane is on trial for Attempted First Degree Murder After Deliberation.   She is also being tried for First and Second Degree Assault and for Unlawful Termination of a Pregnancy.


LIVE BLOG FROM COURT - Day 1 of Trial:

MORE | Why Dynel Lane is not being charged with murder 

Lawyers for Lane had earlier filed a motion for a change of venue, but the judge refused to move the case.

In a brief filed by the Boulder County District Attorney's Office in April, prosecutors said Lane spent an hour talking to Wilkins before she lured her down to the basement.

Wilkins told Dr. Phil last year, "I started walking towards the door. I was at the door and ready to walk outside and she says, 'Oh, I have some girl clothes, downstairs, that somebody gave me. I found out I was having a boy. Do you want them?' And intuitively I have that sensation wash over me, 'I have everything I need,' but for fear of being impolite, I decided to stay," Wilkins said of the moments before she was attacked. "I think about that moment a lot."