Trial set to begin for woman accused of murdering mother, unborn child

MILWAUKEE -- A trial begins next week for Annette Morales-Rodriguez -- the woman accused of killing Maritza Ramirez-Cruz and her unborn child.

In court Tuesday, September 11th, the judge denied the defense's motion to suppress some statements.

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."

She found Ramirez-Cruz in early October, 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.

According to a psychological evaluation, 34-year-old Morales-Rodriguez wasn't the only one present when 23-year-old Cruz was killed. The report says Rodriguez's other personality, Lara, was in control of her body.

Dr. Anne Speckhard spent two days interviewing Morales-Rodriguez. During the second day, Speckhard filmed a transformation take place. Annette turned into Lara -- a completely separate personality.

Dr. Speckhard said it's a result of dissociative identity disorder.

"Annette describes 'Lara' as 18 years old, 'mean' and 'angry' and states that 'she wants to take revenge on all the men (who hurt her)."  Annette states, 'I'm afraid of her,'" Dr. Speckhard said.

Dr. Speckhard believes Lara came into existence when Morales-Rodriguez was only six years old. That's when six years of nearly daily sexual abuse by her grandfather began.

According to Dr. Speckhard's report, Lara would take over whenever the stresses of life became too much.

The report states over the course of two years, Morales-Rodriguez was separated from her kids, displayed physical signs of pregnancy and found out she was infertile. Dr. Speckhard said despite the infertility, Morales-Rodriguez continued to believe she was pregnant -- and Lara tried to follow through.

"According to Annette, Lara insisted 'I had to get a pregnant woman and bring her home through lies and then kill her so i could (take) her baby out.  I would say "no to her, that was bad,'" Dr. Speckhard said.

Morales-Rodriguez is set to stand trial beginning Monday, September 17th.