Oklahoma Coverage

  • Taylor Parker
  • Oklahoma City has extended its mask mandate thorugh Demcember 7. Provided


A woman suspected of killing a pregnant woman and removing the baby from the victim’s womb was moved Wednesday from a jail in Idabel to one in Texarkana, Texas, the Associated Press reported.

Taylor Parker, 27 of Simms, Texas, was booked into the Bi-State Detention Center on the Texas-Arkansas state line in Texarkana. She was jailed without bond on murder and kidnapping charges in the death of Reagan Simmons-Hancock, 21, and her stolen baby, according to AP.

Simmons-Hancock was found dead Friday with her baby removed from her body in a home in New Boston, Texas. Simms was stopped later Friday by a Texas state trooper in DeKalb, Texas, about 12 miles northwest of the crime scene, AP reported.

Simms told the trooper she had given birth on the side of the road and the baby was not breathing. She then was taken to a hospital in Idabel. The baby was pronounced dead at McCurtain Memorial Hospital, according to AP.


A death row inmate likely is to get a new trial in federal court in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling after a judge determined the victims in the case were tribal citizens and the killings happened on Native American land, the Associated Press reported.

McLain County District Judge Leah Edwards issued the ruling Tuesday in the case of Shaun Michael Bosses, 38, who was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2010 killing of Katrina Griffin and her two young children. All three victims were found inside a burning mobile home near Dibble, about 35 miles south of Oklahoma City, according to AP.

The ruling stem from a U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer found congress never disestablished the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation and the State of Oklahoma therefore lacks criminal jurisdiction in cases involving defendants or victims who are tribal citizens when the crime occurs on tribal lands, AP reported.

The case now returns to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which will determine how to handle dozens of appeals from inmate who claim they were wrongfully prosecuted in state court, according to AP.

Oklahoma City

An attorney for an Oklahoma death row inmate testified Wednesday he has found new potential witnesses who might be able to help his client’s case but who would be prevented from testifying by a state law because his client’s appeals have been exhausted, the Associated Press reported.

Attorney Don Knight, who represents death row inmate Richard Glossip, testified before the Oklahoma House of Representative Public Safety Committee during a hearing about the future of the death penalty in Oklahoma, according to AP.

Glossip was convicted of ordering the beating death of Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese in 1997 and was sentenced to death. Another man, Justin Sneed, admitted to robbing and beating Van Treese with a baseball bat but said he did so only after Glossip promised to pay him $10,000. Sneed was sentenced to life in prison, AP reported.

Knight, who joined Glossip’s defense team after his appeals were exhausted, claims he also has not been able to access all of the evidence and files in the case. Among the new witnesses Knight said he found are a dancer at a club near the motel who could tesify Sneed previously plotted to rob victims at the motel and an inmate incarcerated with Sneed in 1997 who recalled Sneed talking about a plan to rob Van Treese, according to AP.

Oklahoma City

A requirement to wear masks in Oklahoma City in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 was extended to December 7 by the city council Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

“I think it’s important we know again masking reduces the transmission of infection in the community between 70- 85 percent,” Oklahoma County Health Department Director Patrick McGough said before the council approved the extension from the original October 20 expiration date, according to AP.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health Tuesday reported 1,309 new virus cases and 15 more deaths due to COVID-19. There have been 101,493 reported virus cases and 1,119 deaths in Oklahoma since the pandemic began. The department reported a record 760 people currently are hospitalized, AP reported.

For most people, COVID-19 causes mild or moderate symptoms which clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness, including pneumonia, and be fatal, according to AP.

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater agreed Monday to reduce criminal charges against five young people accused of inciting a riot following a confrontation with police in June, the Associated Press reported.

Court records show five defendants initially charged with felony inciting a riot each received a deferred sentence after pleading guilty Monday to a misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer, according to AP.

“I believe the guilty pleas today (Monday) acknowledge the conduct which led to charges being filed while offering the individual an opportunity to dispose of their criminal cases without ruining the remainder of their young lives,” Prater said.

The five were arrested after a confrontation with a police officer while they were painting a street mural outside the Oklahoma City Police Department. The incident followed 2 days of street protests in Oklahoma City regarding racial injustice and police brutality, AP reported.