A former nurse’s aide will not face murder charges for allegedly cutting and removing an unborn baby from the mother’s womb, Boulder County, Colorado, prosecutor Stanley Garnett said Thursday.
The mother, Michelle Wilkins, answered a Craigslist ad for baby clothes on March 18. When she arrived at the purported seller’s home in Longmont, she was attacked, beaten, cut open and her fetus was removed. The baby did not survive. Wilkins was treated at a hospital and later released.
The alleged attacker, Dynel Lane, 34, is being held on a $2 million bond.
After the attack, prosecutors said it may be hard to muster a murder charge. Colorado state law does not recognize a fetus as a person, unless it is capable of surviving for a period of time outside the womb, a prosecutor said then. But the extent of the period that the fetus must survive in order to be defined as a baby is not legally clear.
Lane’s husband, David Ridley, told police he found the baby on the day of the attack in a bathtub taking a breath.
Lawmaker calls attack “act of God”
Meanwhile, a Republican lawmaker from Colorado is facing rising outrage after he refused to apologize for comments on his evangelical YouTube program attributing the death of an unborn child cut out of a pregnant woman’s stomach to an act of God.