NEW BOSTON, Texas – Convicted of capital murder and facing a possible death sentence has not stopped Taylor Parker from carrying on schemes while in jail waiting on her fate, according to testimony Wednesday.
Recorded jail conversations were played for the jury during the fourth day of the penalty phase. Those conversations entered on Parker's continued lies to her ex-boyfriend after the murder.
Additionally, Parker was heard on the recordings demanding power and control, according to testimony. She told her mother one of the corrections officers allowed her to stay out of her pod longer than other inmates.
"Nobody's going to (expletive) with me in here," Parker is recorded telling her mother.
The jury hearing those statements will decide if Parker should get life in prison or die by lethal injection for killing Reagan Hancock, 21, and her unborn baby, Braxlynn Sage, on Oct. 9, 2020.
As testimony continued, Texas Department of Public Safety Lt. Andrew Venable was recalled to the stand to talk about the timeline and investigation into the turmoil Parker created with her financial fraud, lies to her employers and medical schemes.
Venable said Parker used a voice changing app to go along with her made-up characters, or as the prosecution put it, her “fake characters.”
Some of the voicemails the court heard were actually Parker disguising her voice as men leaving messages for her former boyfriend, Wade Griffin. The messages were about land Griffin he supposedly given access to for hunting. But the calls were based on lies because the property was private.
Parker’s pattern appeared to lead Griffin, before and during the time of Hancock's murder, to believe Parker's family had millions of dollars and wire transfers were on their way. When the money never showed, Parker resorted to fake medical diagnoses, using falsified documents to show her employers her made up illnesses prohibited her from working.
Parker claimed and was even hospitalized under the pretense that she had suffered a stroke, a pulmonary embolism, seizures, multiple sclerosis and viral meningitis. She also used these diagnoses to fraudulently apply for disability and FMLA, which is a leave of absence from work.
The prosecution established how much work and how difficult it must have been to keep up with all the façades she created.
Venable confirmed that Parker had moved around various jobs frequently, usually lying about her job experience and coming up with fake medical conditions to commit disability fraud and to take medical leaves of absence.
Parker’s pattern in procuring a job was distinct in that she pulled off amazing interviews and those involved in the hiring process were initially impressed with her personable, outgoing and enthusiastic attitude. All believed she would be an asset to the team, Venable said.
But, after being on the job for a few days, Parker invariably became a disappointment instead with poor performance, creating of drama and obviously proving that she had lied about her work experience since she was unable to perform at the level that was expected and spending a great deal of time on personal phone calls.
On cross-examination, Defense Attorney Jeff Harrelson pointed out that during one jail phone conversation, her mother had asked Parker when she was going to get her psychiatric evaluation.
Next, the state called Katelyn Glass, a former friend of two years of Parker’s who had Multiple Sclerosis (MS) who testified after she found out, she could not believe that of all the medical conditions why Parker would fake having MS because it is such a painful and debilitating affliction to have.
Glass said, “I noticed after I had gone to the hospital, not long after, Taylor would go too.”
Glass, a practicing nurse, also testified she was surprised Parker had been prescribed such a heavy narcotic as Stadol, which is an opioid that she had never heard of as being prescribed for MS. Glass noticed Parker would empty the bottles quickly.
Glass also told the jury about Parker’s infidelity in her marriage to Tommy Wacasey.
Glass testified Parker had told her she was pregnant with a "miracle baby." Knowing Parker had a hysterectomy in the past, Glass knew it would be impossible for Parker to be pregnant without a uterus. So, that was the time when Glass decided to let the friendship fade out because she knew Parker was lying about being pregnant.
On cross, Harrelson asked Glass if she knew it to be true that some people are so mentally ill they don’t even realize they are mentally ill, and Glass said, “Yes.”
Parker’s supervisor from her Cooper Tire payroll clerk job and an HR manager took the stand at the end of the day to testify once again about Parker applying for short-term disability and falsifying document,s showing various codes for fake medical conditions and taking a paid leave.
Again, Parker told them she had suffered a stroke and suffered a pulmonary embolism and would sometimes bring in an oxygen tank to the office.
Parker’s role as a payroll clerk involved inputting time sheets into the computer. On more than one occasion, stacks of cards would go missing, even during the yearly audit performed by the state of Arkansas.
Many of Parker’s co-workers had to take up the slack for Parker not doing her work, not showing up for work and being on the phone too much.
As a result, co-workers not only had to work extra hours and postpone their vacations due to Parker’s absenteeism and lack of work in a critically time-sensitive job to get employees paid, a temp had to be hired to help with the workload piling up.
The prosecution also displayed the results of her hair follicle pre-employment drug test which was negative.
Parker’s former supervisor testified that in her 26 years at Cooper Tire she had never worked with someone with such a poor work ethic at Parker, nor had she ever experienced the amount of problems and turmoil from just one individual in her entire career.