NEW BOSTON, Texas–A Bowie County jury began hearing testimony on Monday in the death penalty trial of a woman accused of murdering a pregnant friend and taking her unborn baby in 2020.
Taylor Rene Parker, 29, also known as Taylor Morton and Taylor Waycasey, 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 and taking her unborn child, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Parker has been in custody since Oct. 9, 2020 after she was stopped by a Texas state trooper near the border with Oklahoma that morning.
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 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.”
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 went to great lengths to locate a baby and conceal that her pregnancy was legitimate including an alleged bomb threat to a Mount Pleasant hospital and visits to businesses and medical offices in the region which cater to pregnant people, according to a notice from the state.
Charges of capital murder and kidnapping related to the death of Hancock’s infant daughter, Braxlynn Sage Hancock, remain pending.
If the jury finds Parker guilty of capital murder in Hancock’s death, the trial will enter a second phase including testimony meant to aid the jury in determining whether she should receive a death sentence or life without the possibility of parole.
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.