Both the prosecution and defense have rested their cases in the Taylor Parker murder trial.
Jurors will return to court on Monday to hear closing arguments from both sides. If the jury finds Parker guilty, the punishment phase of the trial will begin, determining whether or not Parker will get the death penalty.
Judge John Tidwell threw out a request by the defense to drop the capital murder charge that claimed a baby not born is not alive under Texas law, and therefore cannot be kidnapped. Prosecution argued that Parker planned the crime in advance, and that Braxlynn had a heartbeat before being declared dead at the hospital.
Parker affirmed that she was not planning to take the stand in her defense, which moves the trial into the punishment phase.
During the trial, Parker’s former boyfriend Wade Griffin said the relationship was an emotional rollercoaster.
Griffin talked about their meeting at a rodeo in 2019, telling the jury how everything began moving quickly after that. Griffin said Parker was very convincing, even though he had doubts about the pregnancy and found himself heavily in debt due to her financial dealings. Parker, he said, always had an answer for everything. She also used a variety of aliases, spoofed phone numbers, and fake emails to back up her stories. He said that Parker came across as smart and believable, and frequently complained via text about his lack of affection.
The defense cross examined Griffin more than any other witness, suggesting he was blinded by Parker’s claims of a family fortune and asking why Griffin didn’t heed any of the supposed red flags.
The jury also saw video of Parker’s initial police interview in which she denied everything before claiming that Reagan Hancock had fallen on a knife during an argument, saying that she’d cut the baby out to save her [Braxlynn’s] life.
Testimony from Shonnaree Yeager, who was incarcerated with Parker two months after the arrest, alleged that Parker claimed she had initially tried to use a knife to extract the baby, but had gone out to her car to retrieve a scalpel from a medical kit. A letter Yeager wrote to the District Attorney alleged that Parker told her she’d held Braxlynn up to Reagan’s cheek and said, “Tell Momma bye.”