Woman who smashed her pregnant friend's skull in and tore out the unborn baby sentenced to death

11 November 2022, 14:27 | Updated: 11 November 2022, 18:14

Taylor Rene Parker murdered her friend and tried to steal her unborn baby
Taylor Rene Parker murdered her friend and tried to steal her unborn baby. Picture: Social media

By Kit Heren

A woman who murdered her pregnant friend and cut the unborn baby out of her womb has been sentenced to death.

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Taylor Rene Parker, 29, repeatedly stabbed Reagan Simmons-Hancock, 21, and then bashed her skull in with a hammer before slashing her open and trying to make off with the baby.

Parker committed the murder in the US city of New Boston in Texas in October 2020, after lying to her partner that she was pregnant - despite being unable to have more children.

Victim: Reagan Simmons-Hancock, 21
Victim: Reagan Simmons-Hancock, 21. Picture: Social Media

She slashed Ms Simmons-Hancock, who was 35 weeks pregnant, from "hip-to-hip" to steal the baby, who did not survive the attack.

Parker was pulled over later that morning after driving erratically. She had put the baby in her lap with the umbilical cord coming out of her trousers, in a bid to make it seem as if she had given birth.

They were both taken to hospital, which was when the horrendous crime began to become clear.

Parker faked pregnancy and even staged social media photos
Parker faked pregnancy and even staged social media photos. Picture: Social media

Parker was found guilty of murder in September and sentenced to death this week. She is now being kept on death row in prison.

In a statement in court, Ms Simmons-Hancock's mother Jessica Brooks called Parker an "evil piece of flesh demon".

She told her: "My baby was alive still fighting for her babies when you tore her open and ripped her baby from her stomach."

First District Attorney Kelly Crisp pushed for Parker to be executed.

Parker tried to make it look as if she had given birth
Parker tried to make it look as if she had given birth. Picture: Social media

She told the court: "She needs to be on death row. She slashed her hundreds of times. She beat her with a hammer. You are going to say she's not violent? She ripped her uterus out by the back. Look at what she did.

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"The circumstances in which Reagan died are horrible and there is no doubt it was torture. But a mother died fighting for her child, That's how she left the world. A woman who died fighting."

Ms Simmons-Hancock's husband said his wife was "somewhat" friends with Parker, who took photos for their wedding and engagement.

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Parker had made an effort to make herself seem pregnant, faking ultrasounds and even throwing a gender-reveal party.

Parker's defence lawyer said her loved ones should have done more to protect her earlier when she was pretending to be pregnant.

"There was no safety net when everyone saw the wheels were off," Jeff Harrelson said.

Parker is entitled to appeal her death sentence.