A Texas woman was convicted murdering a pregnant woman and kidnapping her unborn baby by cutting her straight from the womb, according to KSLA. It reportedly took under an hour for jurors to find Taylor Rene Parker, 29, guilty of capital murder.
With this verdict, Parker faces either death or life in prison without parole for attacking Reagan Michelle Simmons Hancock, 21, at the victim’s home on Oct. 9, 2020. Authorities said she cut the woman’s unborn child Braxlynn Sage Hancock out of the victim’s body and tried to pass the baby off as her own when crossing paths with a Texas state trooper.
“I know sentencing doesn’t start until October 12,” Hancock’s aunt Jamie Mason reportedly said. “Just pray for the family because it is still hard time until we know for sure what she is going to get.”
Authorities described a blood-soaked crime scene. Parker sliced Hancock from hip to hip using a scalpel and pulled her uterus out. Hancock, who was approximately 34 weeks pregnant, had struggled with her killer. Authorities described defensive wounds on her hands. Among other injuries, one of her fingers was dislocated and another was almost cut off.
Investigators determined there were more than 100 stab wounds, with at least 39 on her head. Her skull was fractured in five different places, likely struck with both the blunt and clawed end of a hammer. She was also likely beaten with a four-pound jar, full of pink and blue sand from her wedding, investigators said. Authorities initially overlooked the scalpel, as it was lodged in the victim’s neck.
“This was not a quick death, was it?” Bowie County Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp asked Texarkana Texas Police Department crime scene investigator Marc Sillivan, according to KTAL.
“No, it was not,” Sillivan reportedly said in response.
Braxlynn later died. Less than an hour before Hancock’s mother found her dead and called 911, a Texas state trooper pulled Parker over in DeKalb, Texas.
“Taylor Parker was the driver and was holding a new born infant in her lap,” court documents said. “[T]he umbilical cord was connected to the infant, which appeared to be coming out of the female’s pants, as if she had given birth to the child.”
Parker was performing CPR on the child. EMS took her and the baby to a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma.
But hospital staffers eventually figured out that Parker had not given birth to the infant.
Prosecutors said Parker lived a lie for 10 months, faking pregnancy in order to keep her boyfriend. That boyfriend said she and he scheduled a hospital appointment for October 9, 2020 in order to induce labor for their child. They even scheduled a gender reveal party.
Texarkana Police Det. Kevin Burkleo reportedly testified that call logs and geolocation analysis showed Parker was searching and then physically visiting a number of OB/GYN clinics and maternity stores, and also bought a fake baby belly that was “consistent with continuing a fake pregnancy.”
Prosecutors said that Parker performed a trial run of the murder the day before the killing.
[Mugshot of Parker via Bowie County, Texas; screenshot of Hancock via KSLA]
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