Judge sets 2022 trial date for woman accused of murdering pregnant friend, stealing unborn baby

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Trial in the capital murder case of a woman accused of killing a pregnant New Boston, Texas, woman and removing her unborn daughter is scheduled to begin in September 2022.

Taylor Rene Parker, 28, aka Taylor Morton, is accused of attacking Reagan Hancock at her home in New Boston on the morning of Oct. 9. Parker allegedly removed Hancock’s unborn child, Braxlynn Sage Hancock, and allegedly planned to pass the child off as her own following a fake pregnancy.

Parker appeared before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell for a pretrial hearing Friday at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston. Tidwell said he has set firm dates for jury selection and trial in the case.

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Tidwell said jury selection will begin at the end of June with a date for juror qualification and for jurors to complete questionnaires. Because the state is seeking the death penalty for Parker, jurors will be questioned individually rather than as a group during the month of August 2022.

The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 19, 2022. First Assistant District Attorney said previously that the state intends to try Parker on the charge of capital murder in Reagan Hancock’s death first. Parker also faces a capital murder charge in the baby’s death and a charge of kidnapping.

Parker is accused of killing Reagan Hancock, 21, at her home in New Boston on the morning of Oct. 9. Parker was stopped by a Texas state trooper near DeKalb, Texas, at 9:37 a.m., according to a probable cause affidavit.

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 infant were transported by ambulance to a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma. The baby was pronounced dead and doctors there determined Parker had not given birth.

Parker was arrested in Oklahoma after Hancock’s mother discovered her body and paramedics determined the baby had been cut 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.

Parker allegedly confessed to the phony pregnancy and admitted to using a small scalpel to remove the unborn infant from Hancock’s body. The scalpel was found lodged in Hancock’s neck during an autopsy performed at the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas.

If found guilty of capital murder Parker faces death or life without parole. If found guilty of kidnapping she faces two to 10 years in prison.

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