Taylor Parker

Taylor Parker

NEW BOSTON, Texas – The penalty phase of Taylor Parker's capital murder trial ended early Wednesday when the defense team had no available witnesses to testify. 

Testimony will resume at 9 a.m. Monday. It's expected to wrap up and be handed to a jury by the end of the week. 

Parker was convicted Oct. 3 in the death of Reagan Hancock, 21, and her cutting her unborn baby from the womb. The jury is considering whether Parker should get the death penalty or a life sentence. 

Attorney Jeff Harrelson continued the defense's case Wednesday by calling a psychiatrist, Dr. Edward Gripon, to testify about his two interviews with Parker. In summary, Gripon did not believe Parker has a mental illness; however, he did say she exhibited features of mixed personality disorders including narcissism, antisocial and borderline personality disorder. He also said she is histrionic with a history of compulsive lying, the latter not considered a condition, but rather a symptom that can present itself in some of the disorders.

When asked if Gripon could predict if Parker will be violent again, he noted that Parker did not have a history of violence. He called the murder an isolated instance of violence.

The doctor agreed that Parker was manipulative, and he evaluated her as having a normal IQ, not a genius. Gripon also said that of the people who knew Parker was lying about being pregnant, no one could have predicted that she would have committed a murder.

When asked if Gripon believed Parker was remorseful or took responsibility for her actions, the doctor stated it is very difficult to detect if some individuals are remorseful since different people show it differently.

The doctor said in terms of Parker taking responsibility, “She does not deny it; she makes a concerted effort not to talk about the woman she killed and the baby.”

The prosecution pointed out Parker's history in jail of placing the blame on others for the murder and implicating another inmate for the murder, which made it seem as though Parker was not taking responsibility for the murder.

Gripon said, “I don’t think there is a probability of violence again. There is always a possibility, but overall, compulsive liars do not tend to commit violence.”

“In the last two years of incarceration, the defendant has not been violent. Certainly, she has lied and been manipulative, so I can predict she will probably be an aggravation," said Gripon.

On cross-examination prosecutor Kelley Crisp said, “Taylor is trying to reap the benefits of these disorders,” as an excuse for her behavior while in jail.

A former correctional officer at the Bi-State Jail who was employed there while Parker was awaiting trial denied being manipulated by Parker. She testified spending time with Parker and praying with her on numerous occasions. She said she has been in ministry for over 30 years and she wanted to help and offer hope.

Also, the officer waited six months after she resigned from the jail to send Parker an encouraging letter and sent her $50 for her jail account.

The former officer said she felt Parker had possibly been targeted by other officers, maybe because Homer Hancock, Reagan’s husband, was a former officer of some sort and she understood the other officers “had his back.”

The former C.O. testified that when two officers came to take hair samples from Parker they had been deliberately rough in trying to get a hair sample.

Prosecutor Lauren Richards showed a picture of Hancock’s bloody hand after the murder with hair in her hands. Richards explained this was the reason they needed the hair sample, for DNA.

In the same picture of Hancock’s hand, Richards pointed out some of her fingernails were missing and one fingernail was found on the placenta as if Hancock was fighting for her baby as well as for her own life.

Richards also said to the former corrections officer, “Have you considered you’re the kind of person Taylor could manipulate?”

“But, I’m not," the officer answered.

 
 

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