The New York woman convicted of murder and kidnapping in the death of a pregnant friend whose baby was cut out of her womb has been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.
Ashleigh Wade, 24, was sentenced on Wednesday as she sobbed in court.
The Bronx woman was accused of killing her childhood friend Angelikque Sutton, 22, in November 2015 when Sutton stopped by Wade’s home on her way to her marry her fiancé, Patrick Bradley.
Sutton was eight months pregnant at the time.
Authorities said Wade slashed Sutton in the throat, took out her uterus and cut out the baby girl, who miraculously survived. Little Jenasis Bradley turns two years old next week.
‘I’m so sorry and no words can express how sorry I am,’ Wade said through tears while sitting in the courtroom on Wednesday before her sentencing.
But Judge Margaret Clancy handed down the 40-year sentence despite Wade’s remorse.
Wade’s attorney blamed untreated mental health troubles for the heinous crime.
Last month, Wade was found guilty of second-degree murder and kidnapping. Jurors delivered the verdict in less than five hours and Wade sobbed uncontrollably in court. The parents of Sutton embraced as Wade cried.
For two weeks the jury relived the gruesome details surrounding the 2015 day when Wade slit Sutton’s throat and cut the baby out of her stomach – stabbing her more than 50 times.
She had been lying to people that she was pregnant and asserted that the girl -named Jenansis by relatives – was hers.
Juror number seven, a middle aged woman, passed out cold on last month during the trial due to grisly crime scene photos.
Medical examiner Declan Mcguone was displaying an enlarged photo of Sutton’s discarded uterus and umbilical cord on a large-screen TV just feet away from the jury box when the juror fainted, the New York Daily News reported at the time.
The judge cleared the gallery as Mcguone used his medical expertise to evaluate the woman.
In November 2015, Sutton was on her way to the courthouse to marry Patrick Bradley when she stopped by the Bronx home of her so-called friend, Wade.
But Wade, who unsuspectingly lured Sutton to the apartment by promising her a gift, had other plans for Sutton, prosecutors said.
Authorities said Wade cut Sutton’s throat, preventing her from screaming before cutting her baby girl from her womb.
Wade had feigned pregnancy in the months prior to the horrific murder and needed her friend’s baby to perpetuate the lie, Assistant Bronx DA Meredith Holtzman said earlier in the trial.
‘The defendant attacked Ms. Sutton by stabbing and slashing her repeatedly in the face and neck,’ Holtzman said.
‘The defendant cut Ms. Sutton’s larynx — her voice box. Ms. Sutton could not scream, could not say a word. She cut her major blood vessels.
‘What the defendant did to her next is almost unspeakable. Because after she had rendered Ms. Sutton unable to scream, unable to move, the defendant took a kitchen paring knife and sliced Ms. Sutton’s abdomen open at the bottom half.
‘Once she had cut Ms. Sutton’s abdomen open, the defendant cut Ms. Sutton’s uterus entirely out. She cut that uterus open, took baby Jenasis out, and discarded that uterus on the bathroom floor.’
Amazingly, Sutton’s daughter survived the vicious attack and is now a thriving 22-month-old.
Holtzman said Wade had carefully planned for the attack and theft of the baby.
‘She had baby clothes, baby shoes, diapers, formula, a crib, everything that an expectant mother would need, except a baby.
‘She didn’t have a baby. For that she needed Angelikque Sutton.’
Wade’s defense attorney, Amy Attias, said that her client did not ‘intentionally’ kill Sutton and that ‘something could have gone horribly and terribly and tragically wrong within Ms. Wade’s own mind’.
Wade was found by her boyfriend cradling Jenasis next to the dead mother’s body.
She also screamed at police, ‘It’s my baby!’ as they took her into custody.
NYPD office Jonathan Polanco Ortiz who had arrived to the crime scene in 2015 testified on Monday that it ‘left a mark on his soul’.
Ortiz said that Wade confessed to the grisly murder when she saw police.
When asked how many times she knifed Sutton, Ortiz said Wade responded: ‘As many times as I could.’
Sutton’s husband-to-be and father of her child, Bradley, has attended the trial and listened to the horrific details in court.
Bradley, who had been dating Sutton for eight years at the time she was killed, posts photos of his daughter on Facebook showing she is happy and even learning how to box.