NEW BOSTON, Texas -- Jurors in the Taylor Parker murder trial on Wednesday heard a frantic 911 call made from Reagan Simmons Hancock's shocked and grief-stricken mother just moments after she found her daughter's body.
Later in the day, jurors heard testimony from Reagan's husband, Homer Hancock, who said he knew something was wrong when he could not reach his wife on the phone.
Jessica Brookes called 911 from Hancock's home after finding her daughter's body in the living room shortly after 10 a.m. the morning of Oct. 9, 2020.
Brookes is screaming and sobbing when New Boston Police dispatcher Katie Jimenez answers the phone.
"Someone murdered my daughter. She's dead, she's dead ... help me, she's dead," Brookes screams on the call.
"Can you tell me what happened?" Jimenez said.
"There is blood everywhere," Brookes said. "Hurry, hurry, Oh my God, please ... oh my baby."
Prior to playing the 911 calls, Judge John Tidwell sent the jury out briefly and explained to those in the crowded courtroom that evidence was going to be played that family members might find disturbing.
"It is going to be very graphic, and I need everyone in the courtroom to remain composed. If you need to leave, this is the time," Tidwell said.
Several people, including Hancock's relatives, left the courtroom. Some people cried softly when the 911 call was played.
Parker is charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty in the Oct. 9, 2020, killing of Reagan Simmons Hancock of New Boston and the taking of her unborn child, who also died. Parker has pleaded not guilty. She is represented by attorneys Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana and Mac Cobb of Mount Pleasant, Texas.
Testimony moved quickly Wednesday morning, the seventh day of the trial, with several witnesses testifying.
Homer Hancock, Reagan Hancock's husband, testified that he and Reagan married Sept. 21, 2019, and Parker took both their engagement and wedding photos.
In early 2020, Reagan learned she was pregnant. A sonogram revealed the child would be a girl.
Hancock choked up when Assistant Bowie County District Attorney Lauren Richards asked him the baby's name.
"Braxlynn Sage," he said.
Hancock testified that on Oct. 8, 2020, he arrived home from work between 7:15 and 7:30 p.m. and Reagan was cooking dinner.
"We sat down and had dinner together," he said.
He testified that Parker -- with whom his wife was "somewhat friends" -- was supposed to come over that night, and that Parker had given Reagan a gift for the baby.
Hancock testified he was in the living room when Parker arrived and chatted with Reagan Hancock at the kitchen table. At one point, the women went to the bedroom to talk until Homer Hancock decided he was going to bed.
He received a text from Reagan's phone shortly after 7 a.m the morning of Oct. 9 and responded about 7:42 a.m.
"Did it seem like Reagan?" Richards asked.
"It did not," Hancock testified. "It was not the way she talked."
He never got a response to his last message: "I love you."
A short time later he tried to call Reagan several times after receiving a phone call from his neighbor that the Hancock's dog was out. When he could not reach her he started home from Texarkana and started calling people to help him find Reagan.
Reagan's mother worked the closest to the Hancock's home, so she arrived at the house first.
When Hancock arrived home, crime scene tape was up at his house and his mother-in-law and police intercepted him before he could go inside.
Prior to the 911 call from Brookes, jurors heard the 911 call Parker made that morning. Jimenez took that call at 9:36 a.m.
"I have a state trooper behind me, and I'm going to need an ambulance because I started having my baby," Parker can be heard saying on the call. "I need an ambulance to get to Idabel ... that's where my doctor is. I'm parked on the side of the road."
Assistant Bowie County District Attorney Kelley Crisp questioned Jimenez.
Texas Department of Transportation Trooper Lee Shavers testified Wednesday afternoon he was doing routine patrol in DeKalb the morning of Oct. 9 when he stopped Parker's vehicle for speeding and driving erratically.
"A black 2009 Toyota Corolla with its hazard lights on was going west at a high rate of speed. It almost struck a truck, then the car crossed the double yellow lines, then swerved back on the shoulder and almost hit a man on a bicycle," Shavers testified.
Shavers stopped the car and started walking toward it.
"The driver was waving out the window. I could hear a female voice on a 911 call," Shavers said. "I asked her what's wrong and I could see on her lap a newborn baby, umbilical cord attached to the baby's naval. She told me she had just had a baby and was trying to get to the hospital in Idabel."
Crisp played a clip from the dash cam of Shaver's patrol car as Parker sped down the highway and was pulled over by Shavers.
A video clip from Shaver's body cam as he approached the vehicle showed Parker crying and saying she had just had a baby and needed to go to Idabel. Shavers can be heard saying the baby "was not moving and seemed limp." He also testified he could see the umbilical cord going into Parker's pants.
Shavers described Parker as having blood on her face, forehead and shirt and a "significant amount of blood on her shoes."
A woman with a nursing degree and an off-duty EMT both stopped to help render aid, Shaver testified.
The nurse, Amanda Perkey, testified she saw a trooper had a car stopped and the door was open. She testified she thought she saw a baby on someone's lap.
"I had a gut instinct something was wrong with the baby and turned around," she said.
Perkey described the baby as "clammy and cold" but it appeared to have been wiped off from birth and was clean. She performed CPR until an off-duty EMT arrived and took over.
Perkey described Parker as "disheveled," with dark circles under her eyes and dried blood on her shirt and face.
She testified that Parker told her she had been at Walmart in New Boston and started feeling pressure.
"She said she got in her car and felt like pushing, and the baby came out," Perkey said.
When Perkey and the EMT cut Parker's pants off, the placenta fell onto the floor board, she testified.
"Did she indicate she was bleeding?" Crisp asked.
"Not at that time. Later, when she was sitting in the trooper's car, she stuck her hands down her pants and said she was still bleeding," Perkey testified.
Perkey used a water bottle to clean Parker's face. She also poured some of the water on Parker's foot, which had a considerable amount of blood on it. She also testified that Parker told her the blood disgusted her and made a gagging sound.
"At one point, did you hear her say, 'She's all over me?'" Crisp asked, a reference to Reagan.
Perkey replied that she had.
When the EMT told her they were going to the Titus County hospital, Parker began screaming again that she needed to go to Idabel, Perkey testified.
Courtney Kirkland, a dispatcher with Texas Department of Public Safety, also testified Wednesday under questioning by Richards that she received the call from Shavers about a woman who had just given birth and was parked on U.S. Highway 82 in DeKalb.
Kirkland testified she could hear a woman later identified as Parker screaming that her baby was not breathing and she needed to get to the hospital in Idabel.
"We got to go to Idabel. I'm not going to St. Michael," Parker is heard saying loudly.
Parker can also be heard telling Shaver the baby is "only like 35 minutes old." Another time she can be heard saying, "Clancy, come on," as she tries to give the infant CPR.
Testimony continues at 9 a.m today at the Bowie County Courthouse.