NEW BOSTON, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – A clear timeline of events emerged on day 9 of the Taylor Parker trial.
Jurors saw evidence Thursday that Parker was not only at the scene of Reagan Hancock’s murder but may have done a trial run the day before.
Parker, who was 27 at the time of the Oct. 9, 2020 murders, is charged with kidnapping and capital murder. The 21-year-old New Boston mother was strangled, beaten, and stabbed repeatedly, all with her three-year-old daughter in the house. Prosecutors have said they are seeking the death penalty due to the heinous and pre-meditated nature of the crime and because Parker showed no remorse.
After jurors viewed detailed photographs Monday morning of Parker‘s bruised body and bloodied hands following her arrest, they heard detailed testimony from an expert in call detail records and geolocation analysis who said Parker’s travels and search activity intensified in the three weeks leading up to the murders in what prosecutors say shows a clear pattern of planning and intent.
Det. Kevin Burkleo said cell phone data can lay out a user’s “pattern of life.”
He reviewed geolocation and cell phone data for both Parker‘s Galaxy Note and the burner phone she activated the day before the murder, as well as Reagan Hancock’s and Wade Griffin’s cell phones. He also juxtaposed Parker’s online search activity with her cell phone location data and mapped it all out on a timeline.
The analysis shows Parker was visiting many of the locations she searched, which included OB/GYN clinics and maternity stores. She also searched and purchased baby bedding and a fake baby belly.
“Would you say these searches are consistent with continuing a fake pregnancy?” Richards asked.
“It’s consistent with that, yes,” Berkleo said.
Parker‘s search activity for pregnancy-related items, information, and locations intensified and expanded around September 15 to include multiple trips to many of the searched locations.
That was right around the time Griffin got an anonymous text warning him that Parker was not pregnant and that all the hospitals in the area were on high alert in case she might steal a baby.
“It was a frenzy from that point forward until the murder,” Burkleo said. Parker was searching for pregnancy-related information almost daily.
Parker traveled to multiple pregnancy-related locations between Sept. 15 and Oct. 9, not only including Idabel, Longview, Texarkana, and Mount Pleasant but six separate trips to Paris, Texas, and at least one trip to Shreveport.
Burkleo testified that he believes Parker did a “trial run” on the day before the murders. He said he did the same analysis looking at the movement of Parker’s phone on the day before the murder as he did on the day of the murder. Cell phone location data for both days show Parker left her home and headed to the area of Reagan’s house between the hours of 6:31 and 7:56 a.m.
In viewing the data from Oct. 9 and comparing them to Oct. 8, Burkleo said the times and location patterns were similar.
Cell phone location data shows Parker was also at the victim’s home the night before the murder, as Reagan’s husband Homer testified last week. Records show Parker purchased a Talkatone phone number at 7:26 p.m. on Oct. 8 and then immediately used it to send herself a text one minute later, as if to test it.
Parker used the same spoof number to contact Reagan Hancock on the day of her murder.
Burkleo’s analysis of Parker’s cell phone data shows she left the Hancock’s home after her visit with Reagan just before 10 p.m. Burkleo says her cell phone data shows she went home, but it’s possible she never went to bed that night.
“The day starts very early. Maybe didn’t even end from the eighth,” Burkleo said.
Parker’s phone was making data connections at 12:15 a.m. on Oct. 9 and cell phone data show five calls to McCurtain County Hospital in Idabel from Parker’s burner phone between 3:11 and 3:30 a.m. Some of the calls were short, but a few lasted over six minutes. Parker had also googled the hospital three times.
At 3:45 a.m., there was a brief call from Griffin’s cell phone to Parker’s burner phone. Shortly after that call, cell phone geolocation data show Wade heading out of Simms for Wynnewood, where Parker had set up a hog sale with an unsuspecting ranch owner.
Starting around 4:28 a.m., Parker watched YouTube videos about cesarian sections and births at 35 weeks. Burkleo noted that this was different than her searches in the days leading up to this point because Reagan was about 35 weeks along.
Parker left home that morning at 5:26 a.m. Griffin called her burner phone again at 6:31 a.m. That call lasted more than six minutes.
Parker pulled into the EZ Mart during that call, where she was captured on the store’s surveillance camera putting $10 gas in her Toyota Corolla and paying inside. Location data and purchase receipts show she stopped at the McDonald’s next door before heading toward the Hancock’s home on Austin Street.
Burkleo’s analysis shows that Parker was near Reagan’s house at 7:22 a.m. when Reagan got a text from a number Parker purchased through a VOIP Google app the day before. A New Boston school bus passing by the house at the same time captured video showing Parker’s car was not there yet.
Reagan got another text from Parker’s VOIP number 17 minutes later, at 7:49 a.m. Reagan texted back three minutes later, at 7:52 a.m.
All of that information helped establish a very clear timeline. Burkleo says Reagan was killed between 7:52 a.m. at 9:14 a.m. on Oct. 9, and Parker was there.
What’s more, Burkleo says, both Parker’s primary phone and her burner phone moved away from the scene of the crime on Austin St. around 9:14 a.m., along with Reagan’s phone.
Police collected Parker’s phone on the day of the murders, but because Reagan’s phone has never been recovered, investigators have not been able to download data that would show the content of messages sent to her phone. They can only see the numbers with which the phone was in contact. That data shows the last time Reagan’s phone connected with the cell phone provider network was at 9:26 that morning, and it was no longer anywhere near her home.
The last activity on Reagan’s phone before that was at 7:52 a.m. when a text was sent from her device in reply to Parker’s number that she had set up the evening before, just minutes before walking into Reagan’s house for a friendly visit.
The trial resumed Tuesday morning with Texarkana, Texas Police Department crime Scene Investigator Marc Sullivan, who is an expert in crime scene investigation. Before the jury entered the courtroom, Parker’s defense team objected in advance to about 30 of the photos because they believe they are prejudicial and cumulative to evidence the court has already entered into evidence. Judge John Tidwell noted the objection and overruled and the jury was brought in.