Disturbing new testimony has emerged in the case of a 29-year-old Texas woman accused of murdering her pregnant friend and cutting the unborn baby from the victim’s womb.
The evidence was revealed Tuesday during the trial of Taylor Rene Parker, who is also known as Taylor Morton and Taylor Waycasey, who is facing capital murder and kidnapping charges in the deaths of 21-year-old Reagan Hancock and her unborn child, Braxlynn Sage Hancock.
According to a report from KTAL, a crime scene reconstruction expert testified that the evidence showed Parker and Hancock struggled, with Parker allegedly stabbing her in as many as five different areas while the victim’s 3-year-old daughter was in the home.
“This was not a quick death, was it?” Bowie County Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp reportedly asked Texarkana Texas Police Department crime scene investigator Marc Sillivan, who had just described the significance of a series of photographs from the home.
“No, it was not,” Sillivan reportedly said in response.
Photographs of the scene reportedly showed blood spatter on the wall near the victim’s body.
“Injuries on Hancock‘s body included numerous stab wounds and deep incisions caused by a sharp-edged weapon consistent with a scalpel. She was cut open from hip to hip, and her uterus was pulled out and cut,” the report said. “Her hands showed extensive defensive wounds, including bruises, scrapes, stab wounds, and cuts on her fingers and palms. One finger was dislocated, and the tip of another was nearly cut off.”
Dallas County Medical Examiner Dr. Melinda Flores, who performed the autopsy, reportedly provided a gruesome account of Hancock’s injuries, which included “well over 100” stab wounds, at least 39 of which were on her head. She reportedly had her skull fractured in five different places and was likely struck multiple times with the blunt and clawed end of a hammer. A large jar filled with pink and blue sand from Hancock’s wedding is also thought to have been used as a weapon.
Prosecutors further introduced evidence that they say shows that Parker likely performed a trial run of the murder the day before killing Hancock, KTAL reported.
Texarkana Police Det. Kevin Burkleo reportedly told the jury that Parker’s cell phone data shows a “pattern of life” indicative of planning to kill Hancock.
Burkleo reportedly testified that call logs and geolocation analysis showed Parker was searching and then physically visiting a number of OB/GYN clinics and maternity stores, and also bought a fake baby belly that was “consistent with continuing a fake pregnancy.”
She also reportedly went to the same locations at approximately the same times the day before and the day of the murder.
Additionally, in the hours before Hancock’s death, Parker allegedly watched YouTube videos about C-sections and births at 35 weeks.
According to a probable cause affidavit reviewed by Law&Crime, the investigation unfolded after Hancock’s mother went to her daughter’s home on October 9, 2020, and found her daughter dead. The mother called 911 at 10:18 a.m.; the local police called the Texas Rangers to assist with the investigation a few minutes after noon.
“[O]fficers entered the home and found a white female, on the ground, in the living room of the house face down with a large abundance of what appeared to be blood throughout the house,” the document says. “A large amount of what appeared to be blood was located on the floor, furniture walls, appliances, and other items in the home.”
“Officers learned [Hancock] was approximately 34 weeks pregnant and requested EMS personnel to come to the scene and check on the status of the baby,” the document continues. “The body camera footage from police shows Life Net EMS turn [Hancock’s] body over, which revealed a very large cut across [Hancock] abdomen area. EMS personnel determined [Hancock] no longer had a baby in her stomach area.”
Authorities say that investigators had inadvertently encountered the baby and the suspected killer less than an hour before the 911 call came in.
A Texas state trooper pulled a vehicle over in DeKalb, Texas, at about 9:37 a.m. on the date of the killing.
“Taylor Parker was the driver and was holding a new born infant in her lap,” court documents said. “[T]he umbilical cord was connected to the infant, which appeared to be coming out of the female’s pants, as if she had given birth to the child.”
“Parker was performing CPR on the infant and LifeNet EMS came to the scene and transported Parker and the infant to a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma,” the affidavit continued.
The local police chief eventually learned from staff at the McCurtain Memorial Hospital that Parker had not given birth to the infant.
Oklahoma’s State Bureau of Investigation became involved on account of Parker’s transport to a hospital in that state.
According to court documents, Parker admitted what she had done.
“[D]uring the interview of Parker, she told [a] Special Agent . . . she was in a physical altercation with [Hancock] and abducted the unborn child,” the affidavit said. “Parker admitted to leaving the residence of the assault after the abduction of the child.”
The affidavit further alleged that Parker staged an elaborate series of lies to convince others she was about to give birth.
According to the document, Parker’s boyfriend, Wade Griffin, told the authorities “that Parker told him and others that she was pregnant”:
Griffin explained to me Parker was supposed to go to the hospital in Idabel and pre-register for labor to be induced for the birth of their child on 10/09/2020. Griffin said he was scheduled to meet Parker at the hospital about lunch time for the birth of their child.
Griffin even said “they had a gender reveal party in celebration of the upcoming birth of their child.”
“I interviewed Parker and she told me she was not pregnant and admitted to being in a physical assault with Simmons,” the investigating Texas Ranger said.
Parker also allegedly admitted that the scalpel she used to carry out the killings was still at the scene. An autopsy in Dallas revealed that “a small scalpel” was “lodged in the neck of Simmons and was not visible…at the crime scene.”
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Parker.
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
[image via KTAL screenshot]
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