A Massachusetts woman was found guilty Wednesday in the first-degree murder of her pregnant friend, whom she bludgeoned and strangled before cutting the baby from the victim's womb.
Julie Corey, who was 35 at the time of the crime, was convicted in Worcester Superior Court in the 2009 slaying of Darlene Haynes, 23, in Worcester. Corey is to to be sentenced on Tuesday and faces a maximum sentence of life without parole, prosecutors said.
As the verdict was read, Corey cried and placed her hands over her face.
Haynes' body was found in her apartment on July 27, 2009. She was eight months pregnant at the time of her death.
Days after the murder, Haynes' baby was found with Corey in New Hampshire.
DNA evidence and a fingerprint on a bottle at the crime scene tied Corey to the killing, the district attorney's office said.
According to trial testimony, Corey tried to pass the baby off as her own to family and friends, the statement said.
The child now lives with her father, the statement said.
"It's probably the most horrific case this office has seen," Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said. "This woman was killed for her baby."
Corey's lawyers argued that police failed to follow up on leads, including Haynes' ex-boyfriend. They suggested that the ex-boyfriend had given the baby to Corey and her former boyfriend, Alex Dion, according to CNN affiliate WCVB.
Dion denied this in court testimony.
Calls to Corey's attorney were not returned.
At the time, Worcester police said Haynes told people she gave birth at an undisclosed Massachusetts hospital.
"When the woman (Corey) appeared with the newborn baby girl in Worcester ... the suspicions of a number of this woman's acquaintances were piqued," police said. "In the aftermath of the discovery of Ms. Haynes' body and the information that her fetus was missing was reported in the media, several of these acquaintances advised detectives of their suspicions."