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Annette Morales-Rodriguez sentenced to two life terms

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MILWAUKEE -- Annette Morales-Rodriguez, the woman accused of killing Maritza Ramirez-Cruz and her unborn child, was sentenced to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole on Thursday, December 13th. The judge said letting Morales-Rodriguez out of prison at any time would pose too much of a risk.

Investigators say Morales-Rodriguez was anxious to give her boyfriend a son, but was unable to conceive. They say she lied to her boyfriend, telling him she was pregnant, and as her due date approached, she became desperate and began plotting to “find a pregnant woman and take the baby and make it hers.”

"This is a young woman who was literally obsessed with her desire to have a child with (her boyfriend)," the attorney for Morales-Rodriguez said.

She found Ramirez-Cruz in early October 2011, gave her a ride home, and allegedly bludgeoned her, choked her until she passed out, and sliced the baby from her womb using a small blade, according to the criminal complaint in the case.

An earlier defense team planned to pursue an insanity defense. The court-ordered doctor didn’t find evidence to support that plea and the judge said the opinion of someone hired by the previous defense attorneys would not stand up in court.

She changed her plea to not guilty during a hearing on September 13th.

During the sentencing hearing, Ramirez-Cruz's husband spoke through an interpreter about his children looking for their mother in the sky, and Morales-Rodriguez offered her apology.

"For what I've done, I regret it very much," Morales-Rodriguez said.

The family of Ramirez-Cruz did not accept Morales-Rodriguez's apology.

There was no family of Morales-Rodriguez in court for her sentencing hearing. Her attorney said there has only been one visit from a family member in the 400+ days Morales-Rodriguez has been in jail.

Morales-Rodriguez has three children who are living with her sister in Pennsylvania.

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