Colorado woman sentenced to 100 years for cutting fetus from woman

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Judge Sentences Woman Who Cut Baby From Womb To 100 Years

BOULDER, Colo., April 29 (Reuters) - A Colorado woman was sentenced on Friday to 100 years in prison after being convicted of attempted murder for stabbing a pregnant stranger she had lured with an online ad for free maternity clothes, then cutting the fetus from her victim's womb.

A Boulder County District Court judge handed down the sentence for Dynel Lane, 35, for the grisly 2015 attack, which renewed a national debate over whether a fetus is a person and if termination of a pregnancy can ever be considered murder.

SEE ALSO: Prosecutors seek 126-year sentence for woman guilty of cutting baby from womb

Michelle Wilkins, who was seven months pregnant, survived the attack in the town of Longmont, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Denver. But her unborn baby died.

A coroner concluded the fetus did not take a breath outside the womb, so under Colorado law Lane could not be charged with murder.

"I believe you've lost the privilege to live in our society," Wilkins, who had named her unborn child Aurora, told Lane at Friday's sentencing hearing.

See photos from the case:

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Michelle Wilkins, the Colorado woman who had her unborn daughter cut from womb
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Colorado woman sentenced to 100 years for cutting fetus from woman
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 23: Michelle Wilkins speaks candidly about the attack on her almost a year ago, losing her unborn child and the emotional trial to members of the press inside the Boulder County Justice Center in Boulder, Colorado on February 23, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado. A jury reached a verdict finding Dynel Lane guilty on all counts including attempt to commit first degree murder. Deliberations began on Monday in the case where Dynel Lane attacked Wilkins and cut her unborn child from her womb. The baby did not survive. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 23: Mark and Wendy Wilkins, the parents of Michelle Wilkins, talk about the guilty verdict in the trail and their daughter Michelle Wilkins inside the Boulder County Justice Center in Boulder, Colorado on February 23, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado. A jury reached a verdict finding Dynel Lane guilty on all counts including attempt to commit first degree murder. Deliberations began on Monday in the case where Dynel Lane attacked Wilkins and cut her unborn child from her womb. The baby did not survive. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 23: Michelle Wilkins speaks candidly about the attack on her almost a year ago, losing her unborn child and the emotional trial to members of the press inside the Boulder County Justice Center in Boulder, Colorado on February 23, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado. A jury reached a verdict finding Dynel Lane guilty on all counts including attempt to commit first degree murder. Deliberations began on Monday in the case where Dynel Lane attacked Wilkins and cut her unborn child from her womb. The baby did not survive. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 23: Mark and Wendy Wilkins, left, parents of Michelle Wilkins, and Beth Kemper, right, a 911 dispatcher for the City of Longmont, listen to Michelle Wilkins speak candidly about the attack on her almost a year ago, losing her unborn child and the emotional trial to members of the press inside the Boulder County Justice Center in Boulder, Colorado on February 23, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado. A jury reached a verdict finding Dynel Lane guilty on all counts including attempt to commit first degree murder. Deliberations began on Monday in the case where Dynel Lane attacked Wilkins and cut her unborn child from her womb. The baby did not survive. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 23: Michelle Wilkins, right, looks happy as she walks out of the Boulder County Courthouse accompanied by Boulder district attorney Stan Garnett, left and chief deputy district attorney Catrina Weigel, middle, to address the media in Boulder, Colorado on February 23, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado. A jury reached a verdict finding Dynel Lane guilty on all counts including attempt to commit first degree murder. Deliberations began on Monday in the case where Dynel Lane attacked Wilkins and cut her unborn child from her womb. The baby did not survive. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 23: Michelle Wilkins, right, with her father Mark Wilkins, left, by her side, speaks to members of the media outside of the Boulder County Justice Center in Boulder, Colorado on February 23, 2016 in Boulder, Colorado. After two days of deliberations a jury found Dynel Lane guilty on all counts including attempt to commit first degree murder. Deliberations began on Monday in the case where Dynel Lane attacked Wilkins and cut her unborn child from her womb. The baby did not survive. (Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
FILE - In this undated file photo, provided by the Longmont Police Department shows Dynel Lane, 34, who is accused of stabbing a pregnant woman in the stomach and removing her baby, while the expectant mother visited her home to buy baby clothes advertised on Craigslist authorities said. Catherine Olguin, a spokeswoman for the Boulder County District Attorney's Office, said Thursday, March 26, 2015, that Lane will not be charged with murder in the baby's death. (AP Photo/ Longmont Police Department, File)
The Wilkins' family spokesman Michael Perini reads a family statement to members of the media following a preliminary hearing for her client Dynel Lane, the Longmont, Colo., a woman accused of cutting an unborn baby from a stranger's womb, at the Boulder County Justice Center, in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Lane is charged with attacking Michelle Wilkins and removing her 8-month-old fetus after Wilkins responded to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
A police offer enters the courtroom before a preliminary hearing for Dynel Lane, the Longmont, Colo., woman accused of cutting an unborn baby from a stranger's womb at the Boulder County Justice Center, in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Lane is charged with attacking Michelle Wilkins and removing her 8-month-old fetus after Wilkins responded to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Defense attorney Kathryn Herold enters the courtroom before a preliminary hearing for her client Dynel Lane, the Longmont, Colo., who is accused of cutting an unborn baby from a stranger's womb, at the Boulder County Justice Center, in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday, May 5, 2015. Lane is charged with attacking Michelle Wilkins and removing her 8-month-old fetus after Wilkins responded to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
LONGMONT, CO - MARCH 22: Teagan Reiff, 4 (front), holds a candle as his brother Beckett, 7, is held by their mother, Julie, as they observe a five-minute moment of silence for stabbing victim Michelle Wilkins and her unborn baby who died as a result. A vigil was held for the baby of Michelle Wilkins, who was stabbed and had her fetus removed when she replied to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes, on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
An anti-abortion protester shouts to passersby following a news conference by Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, who discussed the case of Dynel Lane, the woman accused of cutting a baby from an expectant motherâs belly, at Boulder County Justice Center, in Boulder, Colo., Friday, March 27, 2015. Lane was charged Friday with attempted murder, assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
BOULDER, CO - MARCH 27: Seven-month-old Owen Korejwo kisses his mom's arm, Katie Korejwo, as she listens to Boulder District Attorney, Stan Garnett, during a press conference at the Boulder County Justice Center regarding the criminal charges filed in the Dynel Lane case, March 27, 2015. Korejwo, who is a right for life supporter from Arvada, came to Boulder to show her disappointment that the Boulder DA did not file murder charges in this case in which a pregnant woman was attacked and her unborn child removed from the womb. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
LONGMONT, CO - MARCH 22: A woman observes a five-minute moment of silence in honor of stabbing Victim Michelle Wilkins and her unborn child who died as a result. A vigil was held for the baby of Michelle Wilkins, who was stabbed and had her fetus removed when she replied to a Craigslist ad for baby clothes, on Sunday, March 22, 2015. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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In February, jurors convicted Lane of attempted murder, four counts of felony assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Judge Maria Berkenkotter called the 100-year sentence justified because the crime was "brutal, shocking and cruel" and said it was "miraculous" Wilkins survived.

Wilkins, 27, testified at trial that she went to Lane's home after seeing a Craigslist ad for maternity and baby clothes. After talking for about an hour, Lane bludgeoned her, slashed her with shards of glass from a lava lamp, pummeled her with her fists and choked her into unconsciousness, Wilkins said.

She then cut out the fetus with kitchen knives, according to trial testimony.

"You left me to die multiple times," Wilkins said in court on Friday.

Lane's court-appointed lawyers argued at the February trial that Lane did not plan the attack in advance. But prosecutors said her assault on Wilkins was part of a premeditated plot to steal a baby and convince her husband it was theirs, after faking her own pregnancy.

Lane's attorney, Kathryn Herold, told the court on Friday that years ago Lane lost one of her three children, an 18-month-old son who drowned. "It was clear this loss is something Ms. Lane never got over," Herold said.

District Attorney Stan Garnett said he was not aware of any similar attack in the United States on a pregnant woman in which the fetus was ripped out and the woman survived.

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