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Colorado woman who cut out fetus sentenced to 100 years

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BOULDER, Colo. - A Colorado woman convicted of cutting an unborn baby from its mother's womb was sentenced Friday to 100 years in prison.

Former nurse's aide Dynel Lane, 35, attacked Michelle Wilkins, who was seven months pregnant and had responded to Lane's online ad for maternity and baby clothes. Wilkins survived the March 18, 2015, attack but her unborn baby -- a girl -- did not.

"You knowingly left me to die multiple times," Wilkins said Friday in a victim impact statement. "The only tears you shed during the trial were those of self-pity, to the sound of your own voice as your lies were slowly revealed. Yet even now you cannot come clean about what actually occurred. You embrace your narcissistic fantasy to fulfill the lie you created and it was more important than my right to live and Aurora's right to live.

"I believe you should receive the maximum penalty because I believe that you have lost the privilege to live in our society," she said.

Pretended to be pregnant

When Wilkins came to Lane's house in Longmont, about 40 miles north of Denver, Lane beat and stabbed her, cutting into her uterus and removing the fetus, according to prosecutors.

Authorities said Lane had been carrying out a ruse that she was pregnant. Her partner testified he came home early that day to take Lane to a doctor's appointment and found her covered in blood, saying she'd had a miscarriage.

Not knowing Wilkins was bleeding in the basement, the partner said he took Lane and the baby to the hospital.

Wilkins, who was 26 at the time, managed to lock herself in a room and call 911. She did what she could to stem the bleeding. She was treated at Longmont United Hospital, as was Lane, CNN affiliate KMGH reported.

Doctors who treated Wilkins at the hospital said the incision "appeared to have been well performed" by somebody who'd researched C-sections, a police report said.

Defendant said woman attacked her

Lane was a certified nurse aide starting July 1, 2010, and her license expired on January 31, 2012, with no history of discipline or board actions, according to records with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies. She has two teenage daughters, reported the Daily Camera Longmont News.

Lane admitted cutting the unborn baby out of Michelle Wilkins' womb, but told police Wilkins attacked her and she fought back in self-defense, according to CNN affiliate KMGH. Lane said she was afraid she had killed Wilkins during the struggle and removed the baby in an attempt to save it, she told police.

Though Lane didn't speak at Friday's hearing, her mother, Carol DeHerrera, testified Lane had not recovered from the accidental drowning death of a young son, the Denver Post reported. She was desperate to have another child, DeHerrera said.

Lane was found guilty in February of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault and unlawful termination of a pregnancy.

Prosecutors did not pursue a murder charge for the unborn child. 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 before trial.