Bell County jury to weigh death sentence versus life imprisonment for Cedric Marks
BELTON, Texas (KWTX) - Almost two weeks after he was found guilty of capital murder, Cedric Marks is set to be sentenced in Bell County on Monday.
Last month a jury found Marks guilty for the killings of his ex-girlfriend Jenna Scott and her friend Michael Swearingin. The same jury that found Marks guilty will now determine if he will face the death penalty or a life sentence without parole.
Former McLennan County District Attorney Vic Feazell told KWTX that in his experience Central Texans tend to lean more towards the death penalty.
”I prosecuted five capital murder cases when I was district attorney in the ‘80s and all of them received the death penalty except for one,” Feazell said.
On Monday the judge will first ask the jury to decide if there is a probability that Marks would commit further criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society.
”If they answer that yes it takes a unanimous vote, all 12 of them,” Feazell said. “If they answer that no, they can answer it no with only 10 of them agreeing.”
A unanimous yes means the jury will then be asked the second question: are there circumstances to warrant a sentence of life imprisonment without parole rather than a death sentence?
Even just one yes on this second question means Marks will automatically receive life without parole.
”The law has made it a little harder for the state to get the death penalty, because they’ve given the jury this other option which is life without parole,” Feazell said.
Marks represented himself during his capital murder trial. At times he shouted profanities towards the judge leading him to be removed from the courtroom on multiple occasions.
”It’s all going to come down to the mental makeup of that jury,” Feazell said. “I don’t think Mr. Marks did himself any favors by representing himself plus some of the shenanigans that went on in the courtroom.”
Marks’ sentencing is set to take place at the Bell County Justice Center on Monday at 9 a.m.
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