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Death penalty sought for Texas woman found guilty of killing expectant mother to take unborn baby

A Bowie County jury found Taylor Rene Parker, 29, guilty of the October 2020 murder of Reagan Michelle Simmons-Hancock, 21, and the abduction of the baby cut from her womb.
/ Source: Associated Press

NEW BOSTON, Texas — Prosecutors asked a Texas jury Wednesday to sentence a woman to death for killing a pregnant woman and stealing her unborn daughter from her womb.

The appeal came as the penalty phase of Taylor Parker’s capital murder trial began for the October 2020 murder of Reagan Simmons-Hancock and theft of her unborn baby.

Taylor Rene Parker in court, in New Boston, Texas,  on Sept. 12, 2022.
Taylor Rene Parker in court in New Boston, Texas, on Sept. 12.KTAL

The Bowie County jury previously found Parker guilty of capital murder.

Prosecutor Kelley Crisp told jurors that the evidence would show Parker, 29, faked a pregnancy and repeatedly lied before killing Simmons-Hancock, 21, at the woman’s New Boston home on Oct. 9, 2020, to get the infant she claimed to have been carrying. The baby also died.

Parker’s attorneys hope to persuade the jury to spare Parker’s life and let her serve life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Defense attorney Jeff Harrelson said they would show that Parker was mentally ill.