DA to seek death penalty against Cedric Marks

Cedric Marks. (Jail photo)
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) The Bell County District Attorney announced he will seek the death penalty against accused double murderer Cedric Marks.

Henry Garza said Tuesday he filed with the District Clerk the DA’s notice that we will seek the death penalty.

Marks, 45, is accused of killing Jenna Scott, 28, and her friend Michael Swearingin, 32, whose bodies were found on Jan. 15 in clandestine graves in rural Okfusee County, Okla.

“Both families were supportive of the death penalty. He's lived longer than Jenna and Michael and that is too long. Thank you to community for all their support," said Debbie Harrison, Michael's mom.

Scott and her close friend Swearingin were last heard from on Jan. 3.
Swearingin’s car was later found south in Austin.

Marks’ current girlfriend, Maya Renee Maxwell, 26, who’s accused of helping abandon Swearingin’s vehicle in an effort to hide it from authorities, is also charged with capital murder.

Marks, who remains in custody on a $1.7 million bond, has pleaded “Absolutely not guilty” to the capital murder charges.

Maj. TJ Cruz with the Bell County Sheriff’s Department said bond for a separate burglary charge is $250,000.

Marks attorney Michael Whites said earlier it could be up to two years before a trial is held now that the state is pursuing the death penalty.

Marks who calls himself “Spiderman” when in the MMA cage, has been all over the country during his adult life, records show.

In 2017, Marks' mixed martial arts career ended and he started teaching it in Killeen.

He met Jenna Scott and, after a rough two years, she asked a judge for protection saying, "Marks threatens and hurts me and told me he had gotten away with murder before,” records show.

Maya Renee Maxwell, 26, who was arrested on January 11 in Muskegon on a Bell County warrant charging tampering with evidence, admitted that “she was involved with leaving Swearingin’s vehicle in Austin in hopes to conceal it from law enforcement”, a warrant affidavit said.

While in jail, Maxwell gave birth to a baby boy, who is now in the care of child protective services.

A pretrial hearing has been set for Aug. 29 for Marks with another pretrial hearing the next day for Maxwell.