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TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 9 | Investigator: Phone data links defendant to crime scene

by Lori Dunn | September 26, 2022 at 5:19 p.m.

NEW BOSTON, Texas -- An Irving, Texas, Police Department investigator testified Monday that his analysis of Taylor Parker's phone data put her in the immediate area of Reagan Hancock's home on the morning of the Hancock's murder.

Kevin Burkleo, who testified for nearly four hours Monday in Parker's capital murder trial, said he has studied Parker's phone data, including tracking locations and search sites in the weeks leading up to Hancock's death.

Burkleo testified under questioning from Assistant Bowie County District Attorney Lauren Richards, who labeled the investigator as an expert witness.

"Given the control samples discovered during the investigation, Parker being in possession of Reagan's baby, the phone records being corroborated by the control samples, Parker's phones in her possession at the traffic stop, Parker's statements about her involvement and the drive test scans -- all come together to confirm Parker was in the immediate area of the crime scene at the time of the murder," Burkleo said.

Parker is charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty in the killing of Reagan Simmons Hancock of New Boston and the taking of her unborn daughter, Braxlynn, who also died. Parker has pleaded not guilty. She is represented by attorneys Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana and Mac Cobb of Mount Pleasant, Texas.

Burkleo testified that Parker's internet searches for places relating to pregnancy increased after Sept. 16, when Parker's former husband Tommy Wacasey texted Wade Griffin, Burkleo testified.

"It was a frenzy from that day forward," he said.

Google searches on Parker's phone allegedly included several searches of clinics, birthing centers and boutiques selling maternity clothes. Other alleged searches were for locations in Mount Pleasant, Texas, Longview, Texas, Texarkana and De Queen, Arkansas.

Between Sept. 22 and Sept. 25, Parker made several trips to Paris, Texas, Burkleo said. During that time, Parker also allegedly did an internet search for "labs ran after delivery" and "post-partum care."

On Oct. 3, Google data showed two purchases for anonymous texting apps, Burkleo said.

On Oct. 5, the morning of a bomb threat to the Titus County hospital in Mount Pleasant, data showed a hang-up call from Parker's phone made at 4:52 a.m. to the hospital, Burkleo said.

Richards questioned Burkleo about data on Parker's phone that placed her at the Hancock house on the mornings of Oct. 8 and Oct. 9.

"When you analyzed that data from Oct. 9, you also found similar pattern made on Oct. 8, correct?" Richards asked.

"That's correct," Burkleo said.

"Do you consider this a trial run for Taylor Parker?" Richards asked.

"I do believe that," he said.

Data indicates that on Oct. 8, Parker was at 200 Austin St. in New Boston at 6:39 a.m. and then returned to her home at 7:58 a.m., Burkleo testified.

At 4:11 p.m. on Oct. 8, Parker and Wade Griffin went to Osaka Japanese Steak House in Texarkana, based on phone data, Burkleo said.

Between 7:27 p.m. and 9:51 p.m. on Oct. 8, Parker was at Reagan Hancock's house, Burkleo testified.

"Is there value in looking at the days before the offense?" Richards asked.

Burkleo testified that when investigating homicides and other crimes including burglaries, it is common for detectives to look at activity on previous days.

"One of our techniques when we do get phone records is to go back and look at the prior days to see if there is any casing out of locations prior to the crime," Burkleo said.

Richards then questioned Burkleo about Oct. 9, the day of the murder.

"The day starts very early. What do we see first?" Richards asked Burkleo.

Burkleo testified that starting at 3:11 a.m., there are five different calls to the McCurtain County Hospital in Idabel from Parker's burner phone. He also testified that data showed videos of C-section births.

He also testified Wade Griffin left his and Parker's house early and headed to Winwood, Oklahoma, with a load of hogs to sell, Burkleo testified.

Phone data also showed a phone call to Reagan from Parker and Reagan's phone hitting the same tower due to both being from AT&T phones and in the same immediate area, Burkleo testified.

Burkleo testified that at 9:14 a.m., Parker's phones began to move away from the location.

Parker's primary and burner phones traveled together along with the victim's phone, Burkleo testified.

Earlier in the day, nurse Lorie Gibson testified about treating Parker at McCurtain Memorial Hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma.

"She would ask questions but she wasn't very excited," Gibson said under questioning from Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp. "She had mascara on her from previous crying, but she was stoic ... no emotion showed on her face."

Gibson also testified that she attempted a fundal massage on Parker to make sure there was no bleeding into her abdomen. Fundal massages are performed to encourage the uterus to contract and prevent postpartum hemorrhaging after a vaginal birth, Parker testified.

"When you give a fundal massage, the uterus becomes firm and it feels like a ball. I didn't feel that (with Parker's)," she testified.

Dr. William Herron, who has been an obstetrician for over 40 years, also testified Monday that Parker refused a pelvic exam at first but finally agreed. He testified the pelvic exam showed a small amount of blood on the internal vaginal wall but not on the cervix or uterus.

Herron also testified about the treatment of the baby, Braxlynn. The doctor said he

consulted with a doctor at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center Children's Hospital several times about transferring the baby to the hospital. However, it was determined the newborn's life could not be saved, Herron testified.

He said the decision was made to cease life-saving efforts, so Braxlynn was taken off assisted oxygen. Braxlynn was pronounced dead at 1:22 p.m. Oct. 9, 2020.

Jamie Mills worked for the Idabel Police Department when Idabel officers took Parker into police custody on Oct. 9.

"I received a call from a Bowie County investigator telling me of a female coming into the hospital who had possibly abducted a child," Mills testified.

Mills testified that Parker had blood under her fingernails and blood on her toes and toenails.

Mills photographed Parker at the Police Department and observed a scratch down her neck and bruising on her shoulder. There was a cut below her thumb and also bruising on legs.

The photos were shown to the jury.

Harrelson questioned Mills about the timestamp on a photo of Parker that showed 3:08 p.m. He also asked about the age or source of the bruises on Parker.

Mills replied she could not determine how fresh the bruises were or how they were obtained.

The trial continues at 9 a.m today at the Bowie County Courthouse.

photo Taylor Parker

Print Headline: TAYLOR PARKER TRIAL, DAY 9 | Investigator: Phone data links defendant to crime scene

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