Woman Sentenced To Death After Murdering Other Woman, Stealing Her Unborn Baby

Woman Sentenced To Death After Murdering Other Woman, Stealing Her Unborn Baby

A Texas woman convicted of murdering a pregnant woman in order to steal that woman’s unborn baby has been sentenced to death.

Taylor Rene Parker, 29, was sentenced to death on Wednesday following a conviction for capital murder on October 3. The jury in the case, made up of six men and six women in Bowie County, Texas, deliberated for less than two hours before finding Parker guilty, TXK Today reported.

Parker killed Regan Michelle Simmons-Hancock, 21, and her unborn daughter in New Boston on October 9, 2020. Parker stabbed and cut Simmons-Hancock more than 100 times and crushed her skull with a hammer before using a scalpel to remove Simmons-Hancock’s unborn baby. Parker then left as Simmons-Hancock lay dying in her home with her other daughter, who was just three years old. Parker took the baby she cut out of Simmons-Hancock’s womb, who was still alive, and drove away. She was later pulled over by police, who sent the baby to a nearby hospital, where the child later died.

Parker’s defense attorneys argued during the three-week trial that Simmons-Hancock’s baby was never alive and therefore could not have been kidnapped. Without the kidnapping charge, Parker would have been left with a murder charge instead of capital murder.

“That’s why in opening statements we spent so much time on definitions. You can’t kidnap a person who has not been born alive,” defense attorney Jeff Harrelson said in his closing statements to the jury.

Prosecutors countered that claim during the trial, with multiple medical professionals testifying that the baby had a heartbeat when it was born. This was also noted in the prosecution’s closing statements.

The jury sided with prosecutors, convicting Parker of capital murder.

At the beginning of the trial, Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp proclaimed to the jury that Parker “is an actress, an actress of the highest order. The lies and fraud go on and on; the layers of fraud are staggering. You are going to have to understand the fraud to understand what happened on October 9. This started months and months ahead of time until it passed the point of no return, and it ended up in homicide.”

Crisp was referring to allegations that Parker pretended to be pregnant for nearly ten months, wearing a disguise to make her belly look bigger and providing her boyfriend with fake ultrasounds. She also held a gender-reveal party and made numerous posts on social media about her supposed pregnancy. She did all this, Crisp said, while looking for an actual pregnant woman whose baby she could steal.

Witnesses said at trial that Parker couldn’t conceive due to a hysterectomy and had offered $100,000 for a surrogate. She also told her boyfriend that she was inducing labor the day she killed Simmons-Hancock.

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