NEW BOSTON, Texas–Hundreds of Bowie County citizens showed for juror qualification Wednesday in a death penalty case stemming from the 2020 killing of a pregnant New Boston mom.
Taylor Rene Parker, 29, aka Taylor Morton and Taylor Waycasey, is accused of attacking 21-year-old Regan Hancock the morning of Oct. 9, 2020, 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.
Hundreds of Bowie County residents were qualified to serve Wednesday in proceedings before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell at the New Boston High School auditorium. To be qualified, a person must be a resident of Bowie County, have a criminal record free of felony convictions and be able to read and write, for example.
First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said that of those that qualified, 180 were given dates and times to report in August for individual questioning. If a 12-member jury and several alternates are chosen from the group of 180, jury selection will end. If there are still seats to fill on the jury or for alternate jurors, more of the citizens who have been qualified to serve will be scheduled for individual questioning.
Opening statements are scheduled to begin before Tidwell on Sept. 12 at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.
If found guilty of capital murder in Hancock’s killing, Parker faces a death sentence or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
She has been in custody since Oct. 9, 2020, after she was stopped by a Texas state trooper near the border with Oklahoma.
Parker was allegedly attempting to perform CPR on the 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. The infant was pronounced dead and doctors there 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 and was a friend of Hancock’s. Parker’s 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 that day at “about lunch time” for an induced delivery.
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.
Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting.
Parker is represented by Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana and Mac Cobb of Mount Pleasant, Texas.