NEW BOSTON, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – The prosecution in the Taylor Parker trial on Thursday made a point to remind the jury that the woman accused of killing a New Boston mother and cutting her unborn baby from her womb was found competent to stand trial.
“If Ms. Parker was incompetent, we would not be in this courtroom,” Bowie County First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp said after Parker’s defense attorney Jeff Harrelson asked Parker’s ex-husband, Tommy Waycasey, whether she ever had a mental evaluation. “Ms. Parker is not insane, or we would not be having this jury trial. So as Ms. Parker sits here today, she’s found competent.”
Parker, now 29, is charged with kidnapping and capital murder of 21-year-old Reagan Simmons Hancock and her unborn baby, Braxlynn. Parker could face the death penalty if convicted. She has pleaded not guilty.
So far in the trial, Parker’s defense team has not denied even the most outrageous of the lies and schemes detailed in testimony. Instead, they questioned how anyone believed them. The defense also questioned why no one contacted law enforcement if they suspected Parker was faking her pregnancy. The investigator on the stand pointed out that it’s not illegal to fake a pregnancy, and you can’t arrest someone on suspicion they might commit a crime.
At times, Harrelson seemed to lean into the suggestion that Parker’s behavior was not normal and asked witnesses questions that prompted them to expand even more on testimony that reflected poorly on Parker’s behavior and actions.
While on the stand, Waycasey, who was married to Parker when they opted for sterilization in 2014 after the birth of their son and was there when she had her hysterectomy in 2015, recounted how the doctor came to him during her surgery for an ovarian cyst to tell him they found endometriosis and a tubal pregnancy. Waycasey says the doctor asked him to decide whether to go ahead with the hysterectomy and that he told the doctor to do what he would do for their own loved one.
According to Waycasey, Parker “flew off the handle” when she woke up from surgery and learned her uterus and one ovary had been removed. She wanted to know why they did not wake her up so she could make the decision for herself.
Waycasey also testified that he used an anonymous number to reach out to warn to Wade Griffin in January 2020 after learning she was claiming to be pregnant. He didn’t want Parker to know it was him because it would have made his life difficult.
“It’s funny how Taylor is pregnant but every hospital with a 60 mile radius is watching for her because they’re scared she’s gonna come in and steal a baby because there’s no possible way she’s pregnant and they all know that because They got all the hospital records,” cell phone records show Waycasey texted to Griffin on September 11, less than one month before the murders.
Three days later, Waycasey texted Griffin again to tell him Taylor was not pregnant. On September 16, he texted him again.
“I’m reaching out to you because I feel like it’s the ethical thing to do. In 2015 Taylor had a hysterectomy. She isn’t pregnant. She can’t get pregnant! She’s a con artist and is lying to keep you around. I’m sure you haven’t been to one Dr appointment with her, for whatever reason.”
Waycasey went on to tell Griffin that the two sonograms Taylor had been sharing on social media were faked, with one being a scan from her pregnancy with her daughter with her name and the name of the clinic cut off.
“I don’t do drama, not at all, but because I know for a fact she isn’t pregnant and is running out of time. I had to reach out. Please be careful! She has lied about so much for so long she has her self in so deep she can’t get out. I’m concerned how far she might go with this. All hospitals are high alert because she may go to the extent of stealing a child!”
Phone records show Griffin sent a screenshot of Waycasey’s anonymous warning to Parker. Fifteen minutes later, data from Parker’s devices show she was searching for information about out-of-hospital births. Prosecutors say it was a pivotal moment in the timeline leading up to the murders, as the evidence shows a clear escalation in the measures Parker was considering as she worked out a plan to come up with a baby.
Testimony continued Thursday afternoon as the prosecution worked to establish just how massive and layered Parker’s fabrications were in her efforts to make Wade Griffin believe she was a millionaire who just could not get hold of her money because her mother was plotting against them. When some of those elaborate stories began to fall apart, prosecutors say she pretended to be pregnant in increasingly desperate hopes of keeping Griffin from leaving her.
These motivations are behind the “staggering” layers of fraud prosecutors told the jury in their opening statements they would have to understand in order to understand what happened on October 9, 2020.
That’s when Hancock was found stabbed, strangled, and beaten in a bloody scene discovered by her mother inside her Austin Street home in New Boston. Hancock had been cut open. Her baby, nearly 35 weeks along, was gone.
Testimony wrapped up just before 4 p.m. Thursday and will resume Monday morning. Hancock’s mother is expected to take the stand next week.