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Parker becomes seventh woman on Texas Death Row

by Lori Dunn | November 12, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
Taylor Parker

Taylor Parker is now the seventh woman on death row in Texas after being sentenced to die Wednesday in Bowie County for killing a pregnant woman in October 2020 and ripping her unborn child from the womb.

The seven women on death row are joined by 187 men, according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

The last person sentenced to death in Bowie County was Billy Joel Tracy in 2017. Tracey was sentenced for the 2015 killing of a Barry Telford Unit correctional officer.

Women on death row are housed at TDCJ's Mountain View Unit, about 4 miles north of Gatesville, Texas, in Coryell County. Gatesville is part of the Killeen, Temple, Fort Hood metropolitan area.

Texas has executed three people in 2022, with two remaining this year, according to TDCJ. Three executions are scheduled for 2023.

The state of Texas has executed 576 people since 1982, with 131 of the executions coming from Harris County, according to TDCJ.

Six women have been executed in Texas since 1976. The two most recent were in 2014.

Parker will share death row with two other women who have gained notoriety for their crimes, which also involved children.

On June 6, 1996, Darlie Lynn Routier, 26, of Dallas County stabbed her 5-year-old and 6-year-old sons to death. She entered death row on Feb. 5, 1997.

Linda Carty was convicted of the May 2001 murder of a 25-year-old woman. Carty and three co-defendants invaded a home and kidnapped a 25-year-old female and her newborn son. The victim subsequently died of suffocation, but the baby was found unharmed.

Parker was found guilty of capital murder Oct. 3 in the death of Reagan Michelle Hancock, whose unborn daughter was cut from the womb by Parker. The child, Braxlynn Sage Hancock, also died.

Parker will have the opportunity to appeal her sentence.

The first stage of appeals is the direct appeals stage, and the first appeal of that stage is always to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in the state. Every death penalty case is automatically sent to the Court of Criminal Appeals, even if the defendant wishes to waive the appeals.

The Court of Criminal Appeals is composed of nine judges, who hear each case. In most cases, they issue their verdict as a published opinion. Their verdicts can range from affirming the trial court's verdict to overturning it and ordering a new trial.

In Arkansas, no women currently are on death row, according to information from Arkansas Department of Corrections.

On April 30, 2000, Christina Riggs became the first woman executed in Arkansas since 1845. Riggs was convicted in the November 1997 murders of her two children -- Justin Dalton Thomas, 5, and Shelby Alexis Riggs, 2.

Riggs was a nurse and planned to kill children with injections of drugs she took from the hospital. When the potassium chloride she gave her son caused pain but did not kill him, she smothered both children.

Print Headline: Parker becomes seventh woman on Texas Death Row

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