Milwaukee woman convicted in fetal-abduction case
A Milwaukee woman who confessed to trying to steal a baby by attacking a pregnant woman and slicing out her full-term fetus was convicted Thursday of killing them both.
Jurors deliberated for less than two hours before finding Annette Morales-Rodriguez guilty of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in the October 2011 deaths of the mother and fetus. Morales-Rodriguez, 34, faces a mandatory life sentence when she's sentenced Dec. 14, though a judge could allow for the possibility of parole. Wisconsin does not have the death penalty.
A key piece of evidence during the trial was a videotaped police interview in which Morales-Rodriguez described her attack on 23-year-old Maritza Ramirez-Cruz. She admitted luring Ramirez-Cruz to her home, bludgeoning and choking her into unconsciousness and using a small blade to carve out the fetus. She told investigators she was desperate to have a son, that she had faked a pregnancy and that she devised a plan to steal an unborn baby as her supposed due date approached.
Ramirez-Cruz died due to a combination of blood loss, blunt trauma and asphyxiation, and the male fetus died as a result of her death, a medical examiner testified.