Cedric Marks trial: Prosecution rests its case; Scotts’ friend testifies on alleged threats Marks made towards him

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 8:09 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Marks is accused of killing his ex girlfriend, Jenna Scott, 28, and her friend, Michael Swearingin, 32, whose bodies were found on Jan. 15, 2019, in rural Okfusee County, Oklahoma.

Marks, who is representing himself, 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.

After nearly two months since the trial started, the state rested and closed their arguments Tuesday. This means there will be no more evidence presented from both sides.

Outside the presence of the jury, the state and defense made three revisions to the jury charge. One of the revisions is Marks wanting the order of the phrase “guilty, not guilty” reversed on the jury’s document. Normally, it reads “guilty” first and then “not guilty.” However, the prosecution said it’s never been reversed and won’t be for this case.

The last of the prosecution’s rebuttal witnesses took the stand Tuesday.

Scott’s longtime friend, Bruce Thomas, testified. He said the two have been friends since 2010 and shared an intimate moment in 2016, but have remained friends. Marks suspected Scott cheating on him with Thomas. Thomas described Scott and Marks’ relationship as, “Just a toxic relationship of two to three years.”

Thomas said he and Scott were close and knew she was distraught and felt like the system failed her when her permanent court order was denied against Marks in 2018.

The prosecution revealed numerous pages of screenshots from messages Marks sent to Thomas on Facebook from September of 2018 through January of 2019. Along with messages in a group chat with Marks, Thomas and Swearingin.

In the messages, Marks stated that he would drive by Thomas’ place, he knew where Thomas worked, sent old pictures of he and Scott, and even said, “I’m not exactly minding going to jail but please don’t be the reason I do.”

Screenshots show Marks sent over 20 messages to Thomas.

“That’s you who f——— killed her dude, never forget that.”

“I’m not even mad at this point, but she just left your place last night. I hope them leftovers my great.”

After threatening to send videos of Scott to her new school, Marks said, “I know she transferred her credits. She’s going to get everything she deserves for all of the lying, manipulation and cheating.”

On January 5, 2019 as Scott was missing, Marks said, “I know you’re ignoring me, but a friend of mine just told me Jenna is missing. Is this true? Please respond Bruce.”

Thomas said never responded to Marks.

The prosecution showed evidence of Marks phone location pinging near Thomas’ job at Planet Fitness in Austin. Marks argued that Thomas never saw him inside of the establishment.

Marks argued if Thomas wanted the messages to stop, why didn’t he just block him? Thomas responded, “I figured we would have to use these later.”

Investigator over Marks and Scott’s domestic violence case, Amanda Holtzclaw, took the stand.

She confirmed Marks violated the protective order Scott had against him. Their court order hearing was on August 15, 2018. But Marks violated the order by showing up to Scott’s home on the August 20 and broken into the home the next day.

Holtzclaw also mentioned how Marks would update Scott’s school and nursing board about the case and sent videos of her.

The prosecution asked she has seen anything like this in her investigation experience. Holtzclaw responded, “Not to that extent.”

The next witness was Bell County’s program analysis, Kevin Bibbs.

Bibbs verified that the DA’s copy of Marks’ phone records were identical to the original ones from T-Mobile.

This debunks Marks’ claims of detective Powell possibly altering the phone record info on the Excel sheet.

Yet, Marks argued that Bibbs didn’t verify the records with T-mobile and how he doesn’t know how many people touched the discs by the time they were given to Bibbs.

Judge Duskie will finalize and read the proposed charged Wednesday for the court.

Closing statement from both sides will be within an hour and it’s likely the jury will deliberate Wednesday.