Texas woman convicted of killing expectant mother to snatch her unborn baby

NEW BOSTON, Texas — A Texas woman was convicted of capital murder Monday for killing a pregnant woman to take her unborn child.

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It took the jury of six men and six women about an hour to find Taylor Rene Parker, 29, guilty of the October 2020 murder of Reagan Michelle Simmons-Hancock, 21. Parker was also accused of cutting Simmons-Hancock’s baby girl, Braxlynn Sage Hancock, from her womb and abducting the newborn, the Texarkana Gazette reported.

The kidnapped infant later died.

According to the newspaper, defense attorney Jeff Harreslon argued during the trial that Braxlynn was never alive and moved to dismiss a kidnapping charge, which would have lowered the charge of capital murder to murder.

Prosecutors argued, however, that several medical professionals testified the infant had a heartbeat when born.

The penalty phase of the trial begins Oct. 12, when jurors must decide if Parker receives a life sentence or the death penalty, the Gazette reported.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.