The Six, Now Seven Women On Texas Death Row
On November 9, 2022, a jury in a Bowie county courthouse took just one hour to sentence a 29-year-old woman to death.
With the jury's decision, Taylor Rene Parker became the seventh woman on Texas' Death Row. She would be the first female to be handed the death penalty since Kimberly Cargill in June 2012.
A Capital Punishment For A Capital Crime
Parker was found guilty of capital murder for the brutal killing of a 21-year-old woman and then removing her unborn child from her body.
On October 9, 2020, 27-year-old Taylor Rene Parker visited the residence of an acquaintance, Reagan Hancock.
While at the home, Parker engaged in a physical altercation with Hancock, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time. Court testimony revealed that the victim had been stabbed over 100 times and had her skull crushed with a hammer before Parker ultimately used a scalpel to remove the unborn child from her womb.
Parker then left the residence with the newborn and fled, leaving behind the victim's 3-year-old daughter with her mother's body.
After the attack, Parker was pulled over by a Texas state trooper in De Kalb for speeding. The officer observed the newborn in her lap and upon Parker's statement that she had just given birth, escorted her to a nearby hospital.
The baby died at the hospital and Parker refused to be examined by staff, rousing suspicion.
Eventually, law enforcement connected the dead newborn and Parker to a bloody crime scene discovered a short distance away. During questioning, it was discovered that Parker had confabulated a pregnancy for ten months in order to keep a boyfriend from leaving her.
She had photographed the victim's wedding and had planned out the attack upon the mother and abduction of the newborn.
The jury for Parker's capital murder trial took an hour to deliberate before returning with a guilty verdict.
The Infinite Limbo of Death Row
Parker's new place as the seventh female death row inmate in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice will place her in a strange minority group.
It takes an average of 19 years for an execution to take place, once a death sentence is given. The last woman executed in Texas was Lisa Ann Coleman in 2004.
Before that, it was Karla Faye Tucker in 1998.
Melissa Lucio was slated to be executed earlier this year, but received a last minute reprieve.
And although Taylor Rene Parker is likely en route to Gatesville for processing at the Christina Crain unit at the time of this writing, she is entitled to court appointed representation for throughout the lengthy appeals process that follows a sentence of death.
Once she is processed, she will be moved to the Mountain View unit where the other six women on death row are housed.