No murder charge in case of baby cut from womb, lawmaker calls death ‘act of God’

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BOULDER, Colorado -- 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.

Viable life

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"

A Republican lawmaker from Colorado is facing rising outrage after he refused to apologize for comments on his evangelical YouTube program attributing the heinous death of an unborn child, cut out of a pregnant woman’s stomach, to an act of God.

“I believe the Bible and I quoted the Bible and I applied it to current events,” Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt said Thursday afternoon during an interview with KDVR. “If other people are offended by the Bible, that’s okay, they don’t have to agree with me or come to my church or watch my TV show. It’s a free country.”

Earlier this week, Klingenschmitt quoted scripture in order to argue that the crime Dynel Lane allegedly committed against Michelle Wilkins was an ‘act of God’ in retribution for America allowing women to have abortions.

“This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb,” Klingenschmitt said. “And part of that curse for our rebellion against God as a nation is that our women are ripped open.”

Democrats as well as Klingenschmitt's fellow Republicans spoke out against the lawmaker's comments.

“I think that this statement is reprehensible and disrespectful,” said Colorado House Speaker Dickey Lee Hullinghorst, D-Gunbarrel.

“When I saw what he said about the woman being attacked, I was appalled,” Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence, R-Littleton said. “He does not speak for the Republican caucus. In fact, we’ve counseled him numerous times, as we counsel everybody, that what you say outside of this building because you’re an elected public official sometimes spills over into your official capacity.”

Victim's strength

While the attack on Wilkins has shocked her community for its brutality, many have also remarked on the 26-year-old's strength.

Bleeding and stunned in a stranger's basement, Wilkins managed to lock herself in a room to prevent any further violence, called 911 and did what she could to stem the bleeding.

Police officer Billy Sawyer, who responded to the call, said he and his partner weren't prepared for the grisly scene.

"She was covered in blood," Sawyer told CNN's Erin Burnett. Wilkins reached out for his hands for comfort. He held them and listened to her. "She did not know she was no longer with her child," he said.

Her strength and willpower had impressed him, as she directed him by phone to her location while she bled so heavily. "She is the only reason why she's alive right now," Sawyer said.

Wilkins' family started a GoFundMe page to raise money for her care. A note on the page said that she's "in a safe location" and "surrounded by family and friends."

More than $73,000 of the $75,000 goal have been raised so far.

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  • Travis

    sensationalized headline

    Shame on you channel 13, why spread this crap.

    Change the headline to reflect what the article really says.

    A comma separating two totally different statements is not enough.

  • Bob Chamberlin

    This is an outrage. This Colorado state law that does not recognize a fetus as a person, unless it is capable of surviving for a period of time outside the womb is complete and utter nonsense. When I think I have seen and heard it all when it comes to the terrible things going on in America I end up hearing more. Some of our Lawmakers here in America are completely evil people.

    • Marilynn Hession

      I so agree… this is ridiculous. If a fetus isn’t alive and not human then why do people try to “stop” an unwanted nonliving thing? It’s so very sad and horrible to think that this woman may not get much of a penalty for taking this woman’s child from her!

    • Mark O;Connor

      The real outrage is the offensive words and actions of Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt. There is no regard for the victim here. What is wrong with this representative? A crime was committed against a pregnant women and her unborn child by no fault of her own except being pregnant. As I read, Klingenschmitt uses distorted Biblical logic to universally label the horrid and violent action an ‘act of God’ in retribution for America allowing women to have abortions.
      this is one sick man, uncaring and apparently psychologically unsound. What does this have to do with this individual case? Nothing. Klingenschmitt further states “This is the curse of God upon America for our sin of not protecting innocent children in the womb,” Again, what does that have to do with the individual, Michelle Wilkiins and her unborn child? There is no logic in this politician’s skewed remarks. Klingenschmitt and his thinkers of kind obviously have their rage .misplaced which is all too prevalent in the fundamentalist, overzealous and extremist religious distorted mind. Where most Christians of moral value would be horrified at the very least for the Mother, Klingenschmitt chooses to quote scripture of the sins of abortion in America and goes on his merry way. The “act of God” against the Mother is a ridiculous and illogical statement. The real crime here is the attack against the Mother and the unborn child as well as the religiously blind “Republican lawmaker”. America is overrun with scary “Christians” with crazy ideas not taken or is misrepresented from the Bible

  • ravennaangelline

    … where are the pro-life people at? Shouldn’t you be outraged over this? From the state that tried to vote personhood for the unborn? This is murder. That vile excuse for a human should be tried for murder, and attempted murder. People need to stop getting so angry over stupid things and get angry for things like this!

    • tootietuttle

      the pro lifers are here…unfortunately, we live in a country where the unborn can be killed at will, rationalized by liberal thought that they simply don’t exist…so you see the fetus never existed and a crime against such fetus “never happened”. Unfortunately, there are more liberals who make these idiotic laws. Bottom line, this country cannot protect their young…but we do a helluva job protecting the rights of pedophiles and murderers.

      • Mark O;Connor

        By the way, the child was not killed. Its amazing how so many of you rant on about the child, which, of course, is a tragedy as well.But, you totally disregard the Mother. All you do is ramble on about the the liberal thought in America. You are as bad as Klingenschmitt’s warped sense of the law and of right an wrong. I pity you for the inability to see the tragedy here. As I read further down the statements below, I wonder, if the Fred Phelps style of Christianity has taken over your little minds. May God show you a loving and caring way that only comes from him.

        • Mark O;Connor

          My regrets. I misspoke when I said the baby was still alive. Sadly the baby is dead. God love this little soul. This does not change what I have written.

  • Realist

    I wonder if that IDIOT Klingenschitt would say the same stupid thing if it was his daughter and grandchild this happened to.

    • tootietuttle

      I’m sure he would if his daughter or granddaughter was cut out of a womb and died…oh you forgot about the other side of the story which is a common thing. Just an FYI, but there was a human life here…

      • Realist

        That’s my point exactly. This woman and unborn child didn’t “have abortions” and aren’t responsible for others who do. So for that politician to say it’s somehow “God’s retribution” is ludicrous. It is murder of the baby, and attempted murder of the mother, no less.

  • finishstrongdoc

    This is wrong. The judge’s ruling makes God out to be a participant in a murder. This is not how our laws have historically been approached. This is more like the way Muslims see Allah; who, in their view, is a deceiver and causes evil to occur for reasons of his wanting evil to occur. God allows evil to occur; He doesn’t want it to occur or cause it to occur. Rulings on this case to properly identify both victims in the crimes and punishments sought to redress for each crime could have made the law more in accord with historical western legal precedent. Now we have this “non-charge,” which may and probably will lead to murdering children outside the womb not being charged.

  • Sharon Bosire

    wow I really think we really need to rethink all of these laws.. for the unborn how sad the family will never know their child and the child will never know the parents I cannot see how this was not murder would it of been if the mother would have passed as well.. thinking it’s time to punish those that truly need to be punished instead of slapping their hands and letting them go.. what is she does this again??

  • Pat

    Act of Satan, not God. This was nothing but pure evil and hate. God is none of those. Shame On Colorado and their “law”makers for this injustice!

  • Stuart Hurlbert

    “I believe the Koran and I quoted the Koran and I applied it to current events,” ISIS leader Gordon Klingenschmitt said Thursday afternoon during an interview with KMOH. “If other people are offended by the Koran that’s okay, they don’t have to agree with me or come to my mosque or madras.”
    Psychopathic religiosity is found in most of the major religions, except perhaps for Buddhism, Animism, and a few others.
    Whether the Republican party manages to get this guy out of office will tell us a lot about the Republican party. Unfortunately, it has a well-established reputation for serving as a welcoming home base for those who oppose church-state separation, and as a party where only believers are welcome. According to New Gingrich, they don’t give a hang exactly what you believe, as long as you have blind faith in something.

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