More than 500 potential jurors report capital murder and fetal abduction case

NEW BOSTON, Texas — More than 500 people have qualified as jurors in the trial of a woman accused of murdering a pregnant New Boston mother and taking her unborn child away.

All 504 reported to New Boston High School on Wednesday, according to the Bowie County Clerk’s Office. The state is pursuing the death penalty for Taylor Renee Parker, 25, in the Oct. 9, 2020, death of Regan Simmons Hancock.

Before a trial, a district court randomly selects the names of residents from lists of registered voters and people with driver’s licenses who live in that district.

To be eligible for jury service, a person must meet certain criteria, including being at least 18 years old, a US citizen, and able to read and write. Those who qualify are given a questionnaire to complete and a return date in August for individual questioning by the court, state and defense.

Two thousand summonses were mailed earlier this month to residents of Bowie County with instructions to appear for jury qualification in the capital murder trial of Parker, aka Taylor Morton and Taylor Waycasey.

At a preliminary hearing earlier in June, 202nd District Judge John Tidwell said those who receive a summons will be given one of two times to report on the morning of June 29 for qualifying at the auditorium of the New Boston High School.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Sept. 12 at the Bowie County Courthouse.

A Texas State Trooper stopped Parker’s vehicle in DeKalb, Texas, not far from the Oklahoma border, just after 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2020, according to a probable cause affidavit. Parker allegedly performed CPR on the little girl in his lap. The infant’s umbilical cord appeared to come from Parker’s pants.

An ambulance took 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.

Around 10:20 a.m. that 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, records show. Reagan Hancock was nearing her due date, and she and her husband had already decided on a name, Braxlynn Sage Hancock.

Parker allegedly convinced her boyfriend that she was pregnant and often posted messages on social media in support of his claim. The boyfriend reported to police that the couple had a gender reveal party ahead of the fictitious October 9 due date to celebrate the arrival of a non-existent baby. The boyfriend said he expected to meet Parker at noon on October 9 at a hospital in Idabel for a planned and induced labor and delivery.

Parker faces capital murder and kidnapping charges involving the baby and could stand trial on those charges later. She is being held without bond in the Bowie County Jail.

If convicted of capital murder, she faces death by lethal injection or life in prison without the possibility of parole.