BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Testimony in the trial of Dynel Lane concluded Friday, nearly one week ahead of schedule.
Lane, 35, is accused of attacking Michelle Wilkins at her Longmont home in March 2015, and cutting Wilkins’ unborn baby from her body.
For the prosecution’s final witness, Longmont Police Detective Stacy Graham was called to the stand. Graham, along with another Longmont police detective, interviewed Lane, the defendant, shortly after the March 18, 2015 attack.
Following Graham’s testimony, prosecutors played an audio recording of that interview for the jury. In the recording, Lane is heard giving her explanation of what happened that day to police.
“I turned around and before I knew it, she had, I think… it was the knife,” Lane is heard telling detectives.
Lane goes on to tell police that Wilkins, 27, swung at her, pushed her into a bedroom in Lane’s basement, and refused to stop attacking her.
“Why would somebody do that to you? I mean, like, I just don’t understand,” Lane says to police, “I know it looks so much worse on my part, because I had to defend myself.”
During the interview, Lane says she removed the baby in an effort to save its life, using the same knife Wilkins a few moments earlier tried to attack her with. At times, she sobs as she answers the detectives’ questions.
“If, if I did something, I did something really bad, I need to go to jail,” Lane is heard saying on the recording.
In court on Friday, Lane cried and used a tissue to wipe tears as she listened to the recording. It was the first time she displayed any emotion in the courtroom. Her attorneys have not tried to claim Lane acted in self- defense. In fact, they have not tried to argue her innocence of attacking Wilkins.
Prosecutors likely played the recording in an effort to convince the jury that Lane went to great lengths to cover up her actions and prove she planned the attack.
At the conclusion of the recording, prosecutors rested their case. Lane told Judge Maria Berkenkotter she did not wish to testify in her own defense. Defense attorneys Kathryn Herold and Jennifer Beck rested their case without calling any witnesses to testify.
After Berkenkotter dismissed the jury for the weekend, attorneys for both side argued how they should be instructed to deliberate the case, and the defense revealed more of its strategy.
Beck asked the judge to allow jurors the option of making a lesser charge finding in the case, saying there is no proof her client is guilty of attempted first-degree murder because the evidence presented does not show she planned the attack. The defense theory is that Lane acted recklessly but did not plan to kill Wilkins.
“The evidence supports that she didn’t make any plans or any steps to attack her until when they went down in the basement,” Beck said. “Ms. Wilkins herself said something when they were down there changed. There was no evidence that she had any idea about how she was going to explain to her husband, the doctors, the police what had happened, which is all evidence that what she did was not intentional, was not the result of deliberation, that she did not spend any time reflecting on whether or not to kill Ms. Wilkins.”
Explaining his objection to the defense’s request, Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett, who is prosecuting the case, countered: “There is no possible way that you can look at the evidence in this case and come up with the conclusion the defendant did not intend to do what she did.”
Ultimately Berkenkotter ruled in favor of the defense. Jurors will be instructed that they can find Lane guilty, or not guilty, of lesser charges.
Lane remains in jail on a $2 million bond. If convicted of all of the charges against her, she faces up to 140 years in prison. The trial resumes with closing arguments at 9 a.m. on Monday.