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Woman who stabbed her pregnant friend to death and stole her baby appears in court

Baby Removed From Womb
This undated booking photo provided by the Bi-State Detention Center in Texarkana, Texas, shows Taylor Rene Parker. Parker, accused of killing a woman to steal her unborn baby to present as her own, went on trial for capital murder, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Bi-State Detention Center via AP)

A 29-year-old woman who reportedly stabbed her pregnant friend to death and stole her baby, had her first appearance in court on Tuesday.
Taylor Rene Parker pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of 21-year-old Reagan Simmons Hancock and the kidnapping of Simmons Hancock’s unborn child.
Simmons Hancock was found dead in her New Boston on Oct. 9, 2020, around 10:30 a.m.
Authorities say the mother, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was stabbed more than 100 times, had her skull crushed in, and her unborn baby removed by a scalpel.
The victim’s 3-year-old daughter was also left alone in the home with her dying mother.
On the same day, Simmons Hancock was found dead, a Texas State Trooper pulled over Parker in De Kalb for speeding.
Parker claimed that she’d just given birth to a child on the side of the road and the child was not breathing.
Parker even stuffed Simmons Hancock’s “placenta down her pants to make it look like she had given birth on the side of the road,” Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp told jurors.
Both Parker and the child were rushed to an area hospital where the child later died.
At the hospital, Parker refused to get checked out by medical staff, which they reported as strange behavior.
Medical staff eventually convinced Parker to get checked out by the doctor:
“She didn’t want them to check her,” he says. “We were told that, so I talked her into letting the doctor check. They called the doctor and he pretty much told us she didn’t have a baby. It was just a matter of getting her to tell us what happened.”
Parker was arrested by the police at the hospital.
During Monday’s hearing, the prosecutors claimed that Parker was an “an actress of the highest order” and that her lies to keep her boyfriend led to the death of her friend.
Officials say Parker lied to her boyfriend about being pregnant for about 10 months despite not wanting to have any more children.
She even went so far as to fake ultrasounds, make herself appear to be pregnant, held a gender-reveal party, and posted about her fake pregnancy on social media.
“The lies and fraud go on and on; the layers of fraud are staggering,” Crisp said, according to both outlets. “You are going to have to understand the fraud to understand what happened on Oct. 9. This started months and months ahead of time until it passed the point of no return, and it ended up in homicide.”
The trial is expected to last about a month. If Parker is convicted, faces the death penalty.