NEW BOSTON, Texas — A Texas woman was convicted of capital murder Monday for killing a pregnant woman and cutting her unborn baby from her womb two years ago.
Taylor Rene Parker, 29, was found guilty in the gruesome murder of Reagan Micelle Simmons-Hancock, 21, and her infant daughter in their New Boston home in October 2020.
A Bowie County jury in northeast Texas deliberated about an hour before finding Taylor Rene Parker, 29, guilty of the October 2020 murder of Reagan Michelle Simmons-Hancock, 21, and the abduction of the daughter cut from her womb who later died.
Prosecutors said Parker — who faked her own pregnancy for nearly 10 months — bashed Simmons-Hancock’s skull in with a hammer and cut and stabbed her more than 100 times before removing her unborn baby from her womb using a scalpel, while the young mom’s 3-year-old daughter was home.
The baby girl later died — though the defense team argued she had never been alive and moved to dismiss the kidnapping charge, which would have lowered the capital murder charge to murder.
Parker, who could not conceive after a hysterectomy, had intensively researched how to fake a pregnancy and watched numerous videos on delivering babies preterm at 35 weeks — the number of weeks pregnant Simmons-Hancock was when she was killed.
She had disguised herself to look pregnant, faked ultrasounds, posted about her “pregnancy” on social media and even had a gender reveal for her pretend baby in the months leading up to Simmons-Hanock’s murder.
Prosecutors alleged that she crafted the elaborate lie to keep from losing her boyfriend and told him she would be induced to deliver on the day of the murder.
“In the past two weeks, the evidence has never been more clear,” Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards told the jury. “She’s a liar, a manipulator, and now she’s gonna be held accountable for it.”
In her closing statement, Richards reminded jurors that the young mom was struck in the head at least five times, with such force that the blows compressed her skull into her brain.
“The pain Reagan must have felt when Taylor started cutting her abdomen, hip to hip … indescribable,” Richards said. “When Taylor had the baby and Reagan was still alive, that’s when Taylor started slashing and cutting. She can’t leave her alive. It was no quick death. She just kept cutting her. I guess Reagan would not die fast enough for Taylor to get out of there and get on with her plans.”
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case. Jurors will decide whether to sentence Parker to death or life imprisonment without parole in a sentencing trial scheduled to begin Oct. 12.
Original Article: Woman convicted of killing a woman to take her unborn baby (nypost.com)