NEW BOSTON, Texas–Six men and six women have been selected to decide the fate of a woman accused of murdering a pregnant friend and taking her unborn child in October 2020.
Taylor Rene Parker, 29, also known as Taylor Morton, Taylor Waycasey and Taylor Griffin, is facing a possible death sentence if found guilty of capital murder in the Oct. 9, 2020, death of Regan Hancock. Hancock, 21, was found dead in her home in New Boston where she lived with her husband and daughter. Parker allegedly left Hancock’s body in a grisly crime scene after removing her unborn child, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The state is seeking the death penalty for Parker in Hancock’s death. The only other punishment Parker could receive if convicted of capital murder is life without the possibility of parole.
In addition to the 12 jurors tapped to decide the case, two alternates, one male and one female, have been chosen in the event that unforeseen circumstances require a substitution. The lengthy process of jury selection began in July when hundreds of Bowie County citizens reported to the New Boston High School auditorium to determine if they were qualified to serve.
Potential jurors were given a date and time to report for individual questioning by the state and defense at the courthouse in New Boston beginning Aug. 1 with 202nd District Judge John Tidwell presiding.
Opening statements and testimony are scheduled to begin Sept. 12.
Parker has been in custody since Oct. 9, 2020. She was stopped by a Texas state trooper near the border with Oklahoma the morning of Hancock’s murder.
Parker was allegedly attempting to perform CPR on the nearly full-term infant in her lap and allegedly claimed she gave birth to the baby on the side of the road. Parker and the baby were transported by ambulance to a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, where the infant was pronounced dead and doctors determined Parker had not given birth.
Parker was arrested in Oklahoma after Hancock’s mother discovered her body in her home in New Boston and paramedics determined the baby had been removed from the mother’s body.
Parker had allegedly been faking a pregnancy since January 2020 and was a friend of Hancock’s. Parker reportedly attended Hancock’s wedding and photographed the event.
Parker’s former boyfriend told investigators he and Parker had a gender reveal party and that he believed she was pregnant with his child. The boyfriend said he expected to meet Parker at the Idabel hospital on Oct. 9, 2020, at “about lunch time” for an induced delivery.
Parker allegedly underwent a complete hysterectomy in August 2015 which would have made it impossible for her to get pregnant, according to records. She allegedly told someone familiar with her medical history who inquired about her 2020 pregnancy claim that, “It’s a miracle, all my stuff grew back.”
Charges of capital murder and kidnapping related to the death of Hancock’s infant daughter, Braxlynn Sage Hancock, remain pending.
Parker is being held in the Bowie County jail. The trial is expected to take several weeks.
First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting. Parker is represented by Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana and Mac Cobb of Mount Pleasant, Texas.