Temple: Transport co. cites insurance, not inmate’s escape for closure

Cedrick Marks following his arrest after his escape on Feb. 3 in Conroe. (Conroe Police Dept. photo)
By  | 

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Texas Prisoner Transportation Services, from whose van a local prisoner charged in a double murder escaped, is citing insurance rates rather than the escape as the reason it is ceasing operations.

The company told Bell County officials in an email from CEO Ryan Whitten that it will "begin to wrap up its business affairs and cease operations" on Sunday, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Whitten wrote that new insurance rates forced the business based in Thrall, to reach the decision to close down.

He didn’t mention the Feb. 3 escape of Cedrick Marks, 44, whom the company was transporting back to Bell County.

Marks managed to escape from a company van early in the morning on Feb. 3 after guards decided to stop at a McDonald’s in Conroe.

He was recaptured about nine hours later.

Marks was arrested on Jan. 8 in Kent County, Mich., on a Temple burglary warrant and was charged on Feb. 3 with capital murder in the Jan. 3 deaths of his ex-girlfriend Jenna Scott, 28, and her friend Michael Swearingin, 32.

Bell County has had a contract with the prisoner transportation company since 2016.

Since entering into the agreement, the company has transported more than 200 Bell County inmates a year at an annual cost of $50,000 to $60,000.