BOWIE COUNTY, Texas – Prosecutors in the Bowie County District Attorney’s Office announced this year that the death penalty would be sought in a fetus abduction case.
At a preliminary hearing in January, the state called for the ultimate punishment for a woman in New Boston, Texas, charged with murdering a future friend and taking her unborn daughter in October 2020. The baby did not survive.
Taylor Rene Parker, 29, also known as Taylor Morton and Taylor Waycasey, pleaded not guilty to two counts of capital murder and kidnapping in a January 2021 hearing before the 202nd District judge John Tidwell.
Bowie County District Attorney Jerry Rochelle then announced that the death penalty was on the table, citing the horror and brutality of the crime, the alleged months of premeditation and planning, as well as an alleged lack of remorse from the accused.
Parker has been held in Bowie County Jail since her arrest on October 9, 2020.
A Texas state soldier arrested Parker in DeKalb, Texas, not far from the Oklahoma border, just after 9:30 a.m. that morning, according to a probable cause affidavit. Parker allegedly performed CPR on the little girl in her lap and the umbilical cord appeared to come from her pants.
An ambulance transported Parker and the baby to McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, where the baby was pronounced dead and medics determined Parker had not given birth, records show.
At around 10:20 a.m. that same morning, Hancock’s mother discovered her daughter’s body in the living room of the house Hancock shared with her husband and 3-year-old daughter in New Boston.
Parker and Reagan Hancock were friends, according to records. Reagan Hancock had posted an ultrasound photo on the social media site with a due date in early November in the months leading up to his death. The happy message included a name for the baby, Braxlynn Sage Hancock.
Parker is said to have convinced her boyfriend that she was pregnant and has often posted social media messages in support of her claim. The boyfriend reported to police that the couple hosted a gender reveal party ahead of Parker’s fictitious due October 9 to celebrate the arrival of a baby who never really existed. The boyfriend said he expected to meet Parker, then 27, at a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, at noon on October 9 for scheduled labor and delivery.
Parker is set to stand trial in the fall of 2022 on a capital murder charge involving Regan Hancock. Parker is also charged with capital murder in connection with the baby’s death and kidnapping.
Because the state calls for the death penalty, the state and the defense must individually interview each potential juror. This means that the jury selection will take weeks. The process for appointing a 12-member jury and several alternates is expected to begin this summer.