TEXARKANA, Texas–Prosecutors and the defense rested on Thursday evening in the guilt or innocence phase of Taylor Rene Parker’s capital murder trial.
The jury of six men and six women was instructed by 202nd District Judge John Tidwell to return to court on Monday to hear closing arguments from both sides. The defense called no witnesses during this phase of the trial.
If the jury finds Parker guilty, the trial will enter a punishment phase and jurors will hear testimony meant to help them decide whether Parker should be put to death or spend the rest of her days in a Texas prison for attacking a pregnant friend and cutting her unborn child from her womb on the morning of Oct. 9, 2020.
Parker, also known as Taylor Morton and Taylor Waycasey, showed no emotion this week as grisly crime scene photos were displayed on a trio of monitors in the courtroom. Crime Scene Analyst Marc Sillivan described the scene as the worst he’d ever seen as he pointed to a jar of colorful sand from the wedding of Regan Hancock and Homer Hancock, which Parker had photographed.
During the struggle, Parker allegedly used a hammer, the jar of sand and other objects to incapacitate Regan Hancock. A scalpel used to cut Hancock from hip to hip and which was found in her neck at autopsy, was one of the weapons.
Taped to the side of the refrigerator in the Hancock’s kitchen were recently taken, three-dimensional sonogram photos of Braxlynn Sage Hancock, the baby recovered from Parker’s lap on the side of a highway outside of DeKalb, Texas, and near the Oklahoma border. When a Texas state trooper pulled her over, Parker allegedly claimed to have given birth roadside and the baby’s umbilical cord appeared to be coming from her pants.
Parker and the baby were rushed to a hospital in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, where doctors determined she had not given birth. Despite efforts to save the infant, doctors determined she had suffered brain damage from a lack of oxygen that made her condition incompatible with life.
Parker, who has a son and daughter, was incapable of having children because of a 2015 hysterectomy. Witnesses testified that she often bragged that she was the heir to a fortune and could pay the money she offered to other women to act as surrogates. According to a notice filed by the state, Parker even asked her own mother for her uterus because she wanted to have a baby with her boyfriend, Wade Griffin, whom she convinced she was pregnant.
Parker reportedly used spoofed phone numbers and fake email accounts to dupe Griffin into believing her alleged lies about money, her family, and her phantom pregnancy. The couple held a gender reveal party and Taylor allegedly drove a wedge between Griffin and his relatives.
In the days before the attack on Hancock in the brick ranch-style house she shared with her husband and 3-year-old in New Boston, Parker was allegedly hunting for victims at pregnancy-related stores and clinics while wearing a fake belly she’d bought off the internet.
Hancock’s mother discovered the gruesome scene and Hancock’s 3-year-old was found hiding in a bedroom.
First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting. Parker is represented by Texarkana lawyer Jeff Harrelson and Mount Pleasant attorney Mac Cobb, both of whom were appointed to the case by Judge Tidwell.
Parker is being held in the Bowie County jail. Should the jury find Parker guilty of capital murder, they may hear testimony during the punishment phase about other criminal conduct Parker allegedly engaged in as well as testimony about her behavior while detained in the jail over the last two years.