Woman who cut baby from pregnant friend’s womb to cover up her own fake pregnancy could now be executed

Woman who cut baby from pregnant friend’s womb to cover up her own fake pregnancy could now be executed

A Texas woman who cut a baby from her pregnant friend’s womb to cover up her own fake pregnancy now faces the possibility of execution.

Taylor Rene Parker, 29, was found guilty of capital murder in the death of Reagan Michelle Hancock, as well as her unborn daughter Braxlynn Sage Hancock.

More than 60 witnesses took part in the trial over the course of three weeks. On Monday, the jury deliberated for an hour before handing down its ruling, according to the Texarkana Gazette.

Jeff Harrelson, a lawyer for the defence, attempted to get a kidnapping charge dismissed by arguing that Braxlynn was never alive, something that would lead to the changing of the capital murder charge to murder.

“That’s why in opening statements we spent so much time on definitions. You can’t kidnap a person who has not been born alive,” he said.

First Assistant Bowie County District Attorney Kelley Crisp said in her closing statement in the trial that multiple medical workers have said that the girl had a heartbeat at the time of her birth.

“We have methodically laid out what [Parker] did, why she did it, all the moving parts, and all the collateral damage. The best evidence the state of Texas has that baby was born alive is that Taylor Parker said it wasn’t,” Ms Crisp said in court.

“Y’all decide the boundaries of today. What will we tolerate? Is it open season on expectant mothers? That was a live baby,” she told the jury.

Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards told the court that Parker put on act to keep her boyfriend Wade Griffin.

“Taylor Parker played every role, every act ... putting on a show to keep Wade Griffin. She played a farm girl, wanting to do the right thing with her family’s land. She played a millionaire heiress … she played a pregnant girlfriend. She never gives up the act,” Ms Richards told the jury. “And she was so convincing that reasonable people start to doubt their own sanity.”

“In the middle of a performance of a lifetime, with her fake pregnancy, her ex-husband sends an email to Wade Griffin that it’s all fake,” Ms Richards said. “To Taylor, it was a threat that she would be outed as a liar and exposed for what she is. She would lose face, and Taylor Parker doesn’t lose. It was from that day forward, that September 16 [2020] date, that she was in a frenzy to find a baby.”

Ms Richards told the court that Ms Hancock was struck in the head five times to such an extent that her skull was pushed into her brain.

“The pain Reagan must have felt when Taylor started cutting her abdomen hip to hip … indescribable,” the attorney said.

“When Taylor had the baby and Reagan was still alive, that’s when Taylor started slashing and cutting. She can’t leave her alive. It was no quick death. She just kept cutting her. I guess Reagan would not die fast enough for Taylor to get out of there and get on with her plans,” she added, according to the Texarkana Gazette.

“We knew it’s going to be a complicated case and an emotional case. It’s natural to have an emotional response ... It’s in your instructions you can believe all or any part of the testimony,” Mr Harrelson told the jurors.

The next part of the trial, to decide on the punishment, is set to begin on 12 October. The jury will at that time be presented with testimony aimed at helping them determine if Parker is sentenced to death or life in prison.