Mass. woman found guilty in cut-from-womb killing

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Mass. woman found guilty in cut-from-womb killing
Julie Corey sobs Wednesday Feb. 12, 2014 in Worcester, Mass., Superior Court after a jury found her guilty of the 2009 murder of Darlene Haynes, then cutting the baby from her womb and passing the child off as her own daughter. In his closing arguments, defense attorney Louis P. Aloise offered a theory that Haynes was actually killed by her ex-boyfriend, who then cut out the baby and gave her to Corey and her boyfriend. Corey, her boyfriend and the baby were found at a homeless shelter in Plymouth, N.H. The girl, now 4, is living with her biological father. (AP Photo/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Rick Cinclair, Pool) MANDATORY CREDIT.
Julie Corey stands in Worcester, Mass., Superior Court Wednesday Feb. 12, 2014, before a jury declared her guilty of the 2009 murder of Darlene Haynes. She was convicted of killing her pregnant friend three months after her own miscarriage and then cutting the baby from her womb and passing the child off as her daughter. (AP Photo/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Rick Cinclair, Pool)
Julie Corey listens as Judge Janet Kenton-Walker instructs the jury during her murder trial in Worcester Superior Court in Worcester, Mass. Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014. Corey is charged with killing her pregnant friend and cutting the baby from her womb. (AP Photo/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Rick Cinclair, Pool)
Prosecutor Daniel Bennett delivers his closing argument during the murder trial of Julie Corey in Worcester Superior Court in Worcester, Mass. Tuesday Feb. 11, 2014. Judge Janet Kenton-Walker looks on. Corey is charged with killing her pregnant friend and cutting the baby from her womb.(AP Photo/Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Rick Cinclair, Pool)
Julie Corey, accused of kidnapping a baby who had been cut from her mother's womb in Massachusetts last month, arrives for a hearing in Concord District Court in Concord, N.H., Friday, Aug. 28, 2009. Corey faced a hearing on a fugitive from justice charge but it was postponed until Sept. 11 at the request of prosecutors, who said Massachusetts needed more time to prepare paperwork requesting that Corey be returned there. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Julie Corey, accused of kidnapping a baby who had been cut from her mother's womb in Massachusetts last month, arrives for a hearing in Concord District Court in Concord, N.H., Friday, Aug. 28, 2009. Corey faced a hearing on a fugitive from justice charge but it was postponed until Sept. 11 at the request of prosecutors, who said Massachusetts needed more time to prepare paperwork requesting that Corey be returned there. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Julie Corey, left, stands with her appointed lawyer as she is arraigned by judge Gerard Boyle via video from the county jail in Bowscawen, N.H., in District Court in Concord, N.H., Thursday, July 30, 2009. Corey, accused of cutting a baby girl from her mother's womb in Massachusetts was charged as a fugitive from justice and is being held on $2 million bail. (AP Photo/Concord District Court)
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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) - A woman accused of killing her pregnant friend three months after her own miscarriage was convicted Wednesday of beating and strangling the friend, then cutting the baby from her womb and passing the child off as her daughter.

Julie Corey sobbed as a Worcester Superior Court jury found her guilty of the 2009 murder of 23-year-old Darlene Haynes. The jurors had deliberated for 10 hours over two days. Sentencing was scheduled for Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Haynes was eight months pregnant when Corey attacked her and cut the baby out of her body. They told the jury that Corey had been pregnant, too, but had a miscarriage three months earlier and told her boyfriend and family that Haynes' baby was her own.

"It's probably the most horrific case this office has ever seen in terms of facts," District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said in a statement after the verdict was handed down. "This woman was killed for her baby."

Corey, 39, did not testify during the trial.

"I feel comfortable that justice was done for Darlene," Haynes' uncle, Karl Whitney, of Palmer, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He said he feels sorry for Corey's family. "I just can't imagine going through something like that with one of my children."

Corey's lawyers contended that police failed to follow up on leads that could have implicated other potential suspects in the killing, including Haynes' ex-boyfriend. They also suggested that Haynes' ex-boyfriend had given Corey and her boyfriend, Alex Dion, the baby. Dion denied that on the witness stand.

Defense lawyer Michael Wilcox said he was disappointed with the verdict, but not surprised. He said they plan to appeal.

"We were aware of the evidence against her," Wilcox said, adding that the facts alone in the case were difficult to discuss. "We worked very hard to present the jury with a different picture, but we weren't ultimately successful."

Wilcox said he would not comment on Corey's reaction but said it was understandable that she was upset.

"She faced the somber realization that she will spend the rest of her life in prison," he said.

Haynes' body was found in a closet in her apartment on July 27, 2009. She had been beaten in the head and strangled with an electrical cord. Her abdomen had been cut open, and her baby was gone.

Corey, Dion and Haynes' baby were found two days later at a homeless shelter in Plymouth, N.H. Her lawyers acknowledged that she was found with the baby but said she played no role in Haynes' slaying.

Dion testified that Corey, whom he believed was pregnant at the time, called him on July 23, 2009, and told him she was giving Haynes a ride to a store. Later that night, Corey called him to say her water had broken and a friend was taking her to the hospital to give birth, Dion said.

A couple of hours later, Corey called him again and said, "We had a baby," Dion testified. Dion said Corey arrived home the next morning with a baby girl he believed was his daughter. He said he and Corey introduced the baby to family and friends over the next couple of days.

The girl, now 4, lives with her biological father.

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