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Texas Woman Sentenced To Death For Murdering Expectant Mother And Kidnapping Her Unborn Daughter, Who Also Died

New Boston, TX – A woman who faked her own pregnancy and cut an unborn child from an expectant woman’s womb has been sentenced to death.

A Bowie County jury deliberated for approximately one hour last month before convicting 29-year-old Taylor Rene Parker of capital murder in the deaths of 21-year-old Reagan Michelle Simmons-Hancock and Simmons-Hancock’s unborn daughter, Braxlynn, KTRK reported.

More than 140 witnesses testified during the 25-day trial, according to KSLA.

It took the same jury just over an hour to sentence Parker to death on Wednesday, NBC News reported.

Simmons-Hancock’s mother, Jessica Brooks, referred to Parker as an “evil piece of flesh demon” as she delivered her statement to the court during the hearing.

“My baby was alive still fighting for her babies when you tore her open and ripped her baby from her stomach,” Brooks told the woman who murdered her daughter and grandchild.

Simmons-Hancock’s other daughter was just three years old at the time of the killing, NBC News reported.

According to court documents, Parker faked a pregnancy back in 2020 in an effort to prevent her then-boyfriend from leaving her.

In addition to making herself appear pregnant, Parker also faked ultrasounds, threw a gender-reveal party, and told her friends and family that she was going to Idabel, Oklahoma to preregister for an induced labor on Oct. 9, 2020, KTRK reported.

That same morning, Simmons-Hancock’s mother called 911 and reported that her daughter had been murdered, according to CNN.

Police responded to the scene and found Simmons-Hancock dead with her abdomen cut open.

She had also been viciously beaten and had hundreds of slash wounds to her body, prosecutors said.

The victim had been 34 weeks pregnant, but her unborn daughter was no longer in her womb when her body was discovered, according to court records.

Prosecutors later told the jury that Simmons-Hancock, whose fingernails were found in the placenta, died while fighting for her unborn daughter, KSLA reported.

Meanwhile, a Texas state trooper happened to pull Parker over that morning for driving erratically and speeding, according to NBC News.

Parker was holding a baby in her lap when the trooper stopped her, CNN reported.

Investigators noted that “the umbilical cord was connected to the infant, which appeared to be coming out of the female’s pants, as if she gave birth to the child,” court documents read.

The baby and Parker were transported to the hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, where the baby was pronounced dead.

Medical personnel also quickly determined that Parker had not given birth to the child, KTRK reported.

Investigators said Parker ultimately confessed that she kidnapped the unborn infant from Simmons-Hancock’s body after a “physical altercation.”

They also concluded that Parker caused the baby’s death “due to the inability to provide necessary care to the child,” according to court documents.

The victim’s husband, Homer Hancock, testified that his wife and Parker had been “somewhat friends,” and noted that Parker had taken their engagement and wedding photos, NBC News reported.

Simmons-Hancock’s then-three-year-old daughter was at the residence when the murder took place, according to police.

Parker’s attorney, Jeff Harrelson, accused Parker’s family and friends of letting her down by not confronting her about her fake pregnancy, according to the news outlet.

“She is a human,” Harrelson said. “There was no safety net when everyone saw the wheels were off.”

As a result of the jury’s decision, Parker has become one of seven women who are currently on death row in Texas, KTRK reported.

“We are just glad justice has been served, not only for our family, our friends, the prosecution team, our community,” Brooks told KSLA after the jury handed down Parker’s sentence.

Simmons-Hancock’s sister, Emily Simmons, said she was “overwhelmed with happiness” that the court proceedings are finally over.

“[Parker] has been such a burden in our life for so long now that I haven’t been able to think about my sister without thinking about her,” she told KSLA.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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