EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an archived story and details may have changed since it was originally published. Taylor Parker’s capital murder and kidnapping trial got underway in Bowie County on Sept. 12, 2022.
TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KSHV) – Prosecutors are seeking to update the indictment against an East Texas woman accused of killing a New Boston mother and removing her baby from her womb as new evidence suggests the victim was not killed the way investigators originally believed.
Taylor Parker, 27, is charged with capital murder, murder, and kidnapping in the death of 21-year-old Reagan Simmons Hancock and her baby in October. Simmons was originally believed to have died from massive blood loss as a result of the slashing and cutting delivered to her body. A scalpel was later recovered from her neck during her autopsy.
According to court documents, Parker confessed to the crime and admitted to pretending to be pregnant in order to claim the baby as her own. when a Texas state trooper pulled Taylor Parker over in De Kalb just after 9:30 a.m. that same morning, she had a newborn infant in her lap.
The trooper told Texas Rangers 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.” The trooper said Parker was performing CPR on the infant. LifeNet EMS came to the scene and took Parker and the infant to a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, but the child did not survive.
In a pre-trial hearing Friday morning, prosecutors filed a motion to amend the indictment against Parker in order to reflect the theory that Simmons may have been strangled to death. According to an examiner hired by the state, Simmons died from strangulation.
If the cause of death proves to be different than the cause presented to the grand jury that indicted Parker in December 2020, the indictment will have to be amended.
Prosecutors have said they are seeking the death penalty for three reasons: Hancock’s murder was pre-mediated, due to the heinous nature of the crime and Parker showed no remorse.
Parker remains held in Bowie County on $5 million bond. She is due back in court on July 23. Her trial date is set for June 27, 2022.