Man, woman indicted for capital murder in deaths of 2 longtime friends

Cedric Marks. (Jail photo)
Cedric Marks. (Jail photo)(KWTX)
Published: Apr. 3, 2019 at 1:44 PM CDT
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A Central Texas man accused of killing two longtime friends whose bodies were later found in clandestine graves in Oklahoma was indicted for capital murder Wednesday, along with a woman who said she was present when the two were killed.

Authorities found the bodies of Jenna Scott, 28, and her friend Michael Swearingin, 32, on Jan. 15 in rural Okfusee County, Okla.,

An autopsy report that the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released Wednesday says Swearingin was strangled and likely died of asphyxiation.

A report on Scott’s autopsy has not yet been released, but according to the indictments, she died of “homicidal violence.”

Scott’s ex-boyfriend, Cedric Marks, 44, was indicted Wednesday on one count of capital murder in connection with their deaths.

He was arrested on Jan. 8 in Kent County, Mich., on a Temple burglary warrant stemming from a break-in on Aug. 21, 2018 at Scott’s home.

Maya Renee Maxwell, 26, who’s accused of helping abandon Swearingin’s vehicle in an effort to hide it from authorities was also named Wednesday in a capital murder indictment.

She was indicted on March 27 for tampering with evidence.

Swearingin’s mother, Debbie Harrison, issued a statement Wednesday after learning of the indictment in which she said, “Praise the Lord! First step in the road to justice for Michael and Jenna!”

Scott and Swearingin disappeared on Jan. 3.

Swearingin’s 2016 Hyundai Genesis was missing, but was found on Jan. 5 in Austin.

Maxwell, who was arrested on Jan. 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 says.

She was present on Jan. 3 at a home in Killeen when Swearingin and Scott were killed, according to an affidavit.

"Maxwell said that both Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin were alive at the time they were brought to the Killeen residence," the affidavit says.

"Marks then entered the room where Michael Swearingin was located and when Marks left the room, Michael Swearingin was deceased," the affidavit says.

"Marks then entered the room where Jenna Scott was located, and when he left that room, Maxwell reported that Jenna Scott was deceased," the affidavit said.

"Maxwell reported that she heard a struggle when Marks entered the rooms with both individuals," the affidavit said.

She provided information about where the bodies of the two friends were buried, the affidavit says.

Marks was named in a capital murder warrant in connection with the killings on Feb. 3, the same day he escaped from a prisoner transport van in Conroe.

He was on the run for about nine hours before he was recaptured.

He remains in the Bell County Jail in lieu of bonds totaling more than $1.75 million.

He's also charged with interference with an emergency call, false report, and violation of a protective order, according to online records.

Maxwell is held in lieu of $500,000 bond.