BELL COUNTY, Texas (FOX 44) – The first day of testimony in the Cedric Marks capital murder trial started at 9 a.m. Monday in Bell County’s 426th District Court.
Marks is accused of killing Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin, who were both reported missing from Temple on January 4th, 2019. Investigators later found their bodies in Oklahoma and Swearingin’s car abandoned in Austin.
Scott and Marks were at one time romantically involved, but had broken up. Swearingin and Scott were longtime friends.
Marks is representing himself, with the help of John P. Galligan, after firing his attorneys and petitioning to represent himself in 2021. Marks pleaded not guilty to all charges – including burglary and capital murder. If found guilty, Marks faces life in prison or the death penalty.
During almost two months of selection, Marks and the prosecution interviewed close to 200 potential jury members. On April 10, they made their final cuts for the jury and alternates.
Around 10 a.m. Monday, prosecutors gave opening statements in the trial. They provided information on Marks and Maxwell being found near at a Walmart in Henrietta, Oklahoma – where they purchased clothes and a shovel to bury Michael Swearingin and Jenna Scott.
Marks’ co-defendant is Maya Maxwell, who is accused of helping him dispose of the bodies of Scott and Swearingin – as well as Swearingin’s car. According to court documents, Maxwell told police that she also drove the car to Austin to throw police off.
Maxwell also gave birth to a son she shares with Marks while behind bars. He is now three years old – and, at last report, is in foster care.