BOWIE COUNTY, Texas -- Prosecutors with the Bowie County District Attorney's Office announced this year that the death penalty will be sought in a fetal abduction case.
At a pretrial hearing in January, the state sought the ultimate punishment for a New Boston, Texas, woman accused of murdering an expectant 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, entered pleas of not guilty to two counts of capital murder and kidnapping at a January 2021 hearing before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.
Bowie County District Attorney Jerry Rochelle announced then 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 an alleged lack of remorse by the accused.
Parker has been held in the Bowie County jail since her arrest Oct. 9, 2020.
A Texas state trooper pulled Parker over 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 was performing CPR on the infant girl in her lap and the umbilical cord appeared to be coming from her pants.
An ambulance transported Parker and the baby to McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, where the baby was pronounced dead and doctors determined Parker had not given birth, according to records.
At approximately 10:20 a.m. the same morning, Hancock's mother discovered her daughter's body in the living room of the home 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 a sonogram photo on the social media site with an early November due date in the months before her death. The happy post included a name for the baby, Braxlynn Sage Hancock.
Parker allegedly convinced her boyfriend she was pregnant and often made social media posts supporting her claim. The boyfriend reported to police the couple held a gender reveal party in advance of Parker's fictitious Oct. 9 due date to celebrate the arrival of a baby that never truly existed. The boyfriend reported that he expected to meet Parker, then 27, at a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma, at noon Oct. 9 for a planned, induced labor and delivery.
Parker is scheduled to be tried in fall 2022 on a charge of capital murder involving Regan Hancock. Parker is also charged with capital murder in connection with the baby's death and with kidnapping.
Because the state is seeking the death penalty, the state and defense must interview each prospective juror individually. That means jury selection will take weeks. The process of seating a 12-member jury and several alternates is scheduled to begin this summer.