Capital murder trial of Cedric Marks scheduled to begin April 17

Marks is charged in the 2019 killings of his former girlfriend, Jenna Scott, and her friend, Michael Swearingen
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 9:26 PM CDT
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - The capital murder trial of Cedric Marks, a Bell County man charged in the murders if his ex-girlfriend and her friend, remained mired in the jury selection process a month after it began, but is now scheduled to begin on April 17, online records show.

Marks is named in capital murder indictments in the deaths of Jenna Scott, 28, and her friend, Michael Swearingin, 32, whose bodies were found on Jan. 15, 2019, in rural Okfusee County, Oklahoma. Marks was arrested on Jan. 8, 2019, in Kent County, Mich., on a Temple burglary warrant stemming from a break-in on Aug. 21, 2018, at Scott’s home.

Legal expert Vic Feazell explained that whenever the state pursues the death penalty, the process to prepare for trial must be thorough. “You get individual voir dire, voir dire is a fancy word for jury selection. It means that each individual juror is talked to alone. It’s just the lawyers, and the juror and the judge,” Feazell said when asked to explain why the jury selection process had taken weeks.

The Central Texas attorney said that, sometimes, the vetting process for just one person can take hours.

Feazell says that Marks could have also been to blame for the hold up. “I anticipate all kinds of delays in this case and I think that him representing himself is also slowing down the jury selection process,” Feazell says.

The attorney, however, said the jury selection process is not necessarily an indication on how long the trial could last.

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