Texas’ NEW BOSTON (AP) — A Texas woman who killed a pregnant woman to take her unborn child was found guilty of capital murder on Monday. In northeast Texas’ Bowie County, a jury took approximately an hour to deliberate before finding Taylor Rene Parker, 29, guilty of killing Reagan Michelle Simmons-Hancock, 21, and kidnapping the daughter she had cut from her womb but later died.
Three weeks of often graphic testimony led to the jury’s decision, which was comprised of six men and six women. The infant was never alive, according to Parker’s attorneys, and they moved to drop an abduction charge, which would have reduced the capital murder charge to murder.
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“That is why we spent so much time on terminology in opening statements. In his closing remarks to the jury, Jeff Harrelson argued that you cannot abduct someone who was not born alive. However, according to the prosecution, multiple medical experts testified that the child had a heartbeat at birth.
Additionally, they described Parker’s actions that led up to the murder of Simmons-Hancock. “We have carefully outlined what she (Parker) did, why she did it, all the relevant details, and all the unintended consequences. The best proof that the infant was born alive that the state of Texas has is Taylor Parker’s denial, according to prosecutor Kelley Crisp.
Lauren Richards, a fellow prosecutor, described all of the ruses Parker pulled on various people, including the pregnancy she feigned before the murder. The evidence has never been clearer in the last two weeks, Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards told the jurors. She is a liar and a manipulator, and she will now face consequences.
She recalled to the jury how Reagan had received at least five severe head knocks, each of which had compressed her skull into her brain. According to Richards, the suffering Reagan must have had when Taylor began slicing her abdomen from hip to hip is “indescribable.”
“Taylor began slashing and cutting when she gave birth to the child and Reagan was still alive. She must not abandon her alive. It didn’t happen quickly. She simply kept slicing her. Reagan probably wouldn’t pass away quickly enough for Taylor to go and continue with her plans.
The beginning of the punishment phase has been set for October 12. Although jurors may choose a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, prosecutors are asking for the death penalty.