A Texas woman convicted of brutally murdering a pregnant mother and cutting her unborn baby from her womb received the death sentence Wednesday in court.

CNN reports a Bowie County jury decided on the death penalty for Taylor Rene Parker, 29, after finding her guilty of capital murder in the deaths of Reagan Simmons-Hancock, 21, and her infant daughter, Braxlyn.

On Oct. 9, 2020, Parker stabbed Simmons-Hancock approximately 100 times, hit her in the head with a hammer and used a scalpel to cut her baby girl out of her womb at the victims’ home in New Boston, Texas. Then, Parker kidnapped baby Braxlyn to claim the child as her own; however, the baby girl also died.

Authorities said Parker faked being pregnant and told her boyfriend that she was going to be induced on the day when she murdered Simmons-Hancock.

The Daily Wire reports Parker was found guilty of capital murder Oct. 3 after several medical experts testified that Braxlyn was alive after being cut from her mother’s womb. Simmons-Hancock was about 34 weeks pregnant.

Lawyers for Parker had argued that Braxlyn was not a person because she never lived outside the womb and therefore could not have been kidnapped, but prosecutors brought in expert medical witnesses who said the baby girl had been alive after being cut from her mother’s womb, according to the report. The crime took place before Texas began enforcing its new pro-life laws, which protect unborn babies from being killed.

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According to the Daily Wire, “Without the kidnapping charge, Parker would have been left with a murder charge instead of capital murder.”

Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards described Parker as a “liar” and a “manipulator” before going into details about the brutal way in which she killed Simmons-Hancock and then left her on the floor bleeding to death near her 3-year-old daughter, The Mirror reports.

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

Authorities said Parker faked being pregnant and told her boyfriend that she was going to be induced on the day when she murdered Simmons-Hancock.

During the trial, several witnesses testified about Parker’s habit of lying, including former coworkers who said Parker had lied to them about having cancer, being pregnant and her sister committing suicide, according to KSLA.

Bowie County Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said Parker pretended to be pregnant for her boyfriend and family, even faking ultrasounds and hosting a gender reveal party. Crisp pointed to evidence that Parker tried to find a surrogate mother and had offered to pay up to $100,000 for the service, but had been unsuccessful, Fox News reports.

On Oct. 9, she traveled to Simmons-Hancock’s home in New Boston and stabbed her to death, cutting her unborn daughter out of her womb, authorities said. Then, Parker kidnapped the baby girl, leaving Simmons-Hancock dying in her home with her 3-year-old daughter, according to the report.

While Parker was driving, police said they stopped her and discovered the baby girl. Police said they transported the infant to an Oklahoma hospital where she later died.

The brutal crime is reminiscent of a similar attack on a pregnant Colorado woman. In 2016, Dynel Catrece Lane was sentenced to 100 years in prison for attacking seven-months pregnant Michelle Wilkins and cutting her unborn baby out of her womb. Wilkins survived the attack, but her daughter did not. However, Lane did not face charges for killing Wilkins’ baby girl because of Colorado’s pro-abortion laws.

Unborn victims of violence, or fetal homicide, laws are on the books in 37 states; they recognize the unlawful killing of an unborn baby as homicide in at least some circumstances. However, New York and Illinois repealed their laws as part of larger pro-abortion legislation in 2019.

Homicide is one of the top causes of death among pregnant women, according to a 2021 study in the journal “Obstetrics & Gynecology.”

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