Defense seeks change of venue in capital murder of pregnant woman, unborn child

The defense has filed a motion seeking to move the trial out of Bowie County for a woman accused of murdering a pregnant friend and taking her unborn child last year.

Taylor Rene Parker, 29, faces a possible death sentence if convicted of capital murder in the Oct. 9, 2020, death of Reagan Hancock. Hancock, 21, was approximately 8 months pregnant with a baby girl at the time.

Parker’s defense team, Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana and Mac Cobb of Mt. Pleasant, filed a motion Friday for a change of venue for the trial. The motion argues that Parker cannot get a fair trial in Bowie County, Texas, or in an adjacent county because of pretrial publicity. Jury selection is currently scheduled to begin in the summer with trial to begin in September.

A hearing to address the defense motion is scheduled for February before 202nd District Judge John Tidwell. First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards are prosecuting.

Parker allegedly attacked Hancock at her home in New Boston on the morning of Oct. 9. Parker was stopped by a Texas state trooper near DeKalb, Texas, at 9:37 a.m., according to a probable cause affidavit.

Parker was allegedly attempting to perform CPR on the infant in her lap and allegedly claimed she gave birth to the baby on the side of the road. Parker and the infant were transported by ambulance to a hospital in Idabel, Oklahoma. The baby was pronounced dead and doctors there determined Parker had not given birth.

Parker was arrested in Oklahoma after Hancock’s mother discovered her body in her home in New Boston and paramedics determined the baby had been removed from the mother’s body.

Parker had allegedly been faking a pregnancy and was a friend of Hancock’s. Parker’s boyfriend told investigators he and Parker had a gender reveal party and that he believed she was pregnant with his child. The boyfriend said he expected to meet Parker at the Idabel hospital that day at “about lunch time” for an induced delivery.

If found guilty of capital murder Parker faces death or life without parole. Parker is being held in the Bowie County jail.