A Wisconsin woman has been convicted of killing both a pregnant woman and her fetus when she attacked the mother and tried to remove the fetus.
Annette Morales-Rodriguez, 34, now faces a mandatory life sentence for killing the full-term fetus of 23-year-old Maritza Ramirez-Cruz as well as the mother herself.
Morales-Rodriguez reportedly wanted to have a son with her boyfriend but was unable to “stay pregnant.” She claimed she had lied about being pregnant twice before, but both times ultimately claiming she’d miscarried. After lying about being pregnant for a third time, and with the made-up due date approaching, Morales-Rodriguez grew desperate and thought up a plan.
The wannabe mother reportedly staked out a Latino community center known for helping expecting mothers and found Ramirez-Cruz who was in her 40th week of pregnancy.
In October 2011, Morales-Rodriguez offered Ramirez-Cruz a ride home, lured her to her Morales-Rodriguez’s home, and bludgeoned and choked the mother of 3 until she was unconscious. Using an x-acto knife, Morales-Rodriguez cut the fetus from its mother.
An autopsy determined Ramirez-Cruz died from a combination of blunt force trauma, asphyxiation, and blood loss.
While Morales-Rodriguez’s attorney urged the jury to convict her client of a lesser charge, first-degree reckless homicide, Morales-Rodriguez was ultimately convicted of two counts of first-degree intentional homicide. While she will be sentenced to life in prison, a judge may give the possibility of parole for Morales-Rodriguez.
A guilty plea was entered, as Morales-Rodriguez admitted to police what she had done. However, her attorney argued she was merely “reckless” because she never intended to kill the mother or child.
Ramirez-Cruz leaves behind three children, ages 3, 5, and 7. They, along with their father, Christian Mercado, are currently receiving psychiatric help to cope with this unspeakable loss. Mercado’s father moved into the apartment below the family’s shortly after the 2011 incident so he and his fiancé could help his son care for the children.