AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man accused in the deaths of a pair of Temple friends who went missing January, has pleaded not guilty. 

Cedric Marks, 44, is accused of killing Jenna Scott, 28, and Michael Swearingin, 32, and then fleeing to Michigan. Scott and Swearingin’s bodies were found with severe trauma in shallow graves in Oklahoma weeks after they went missing. 

A reporter with a KXAN sister station confirmed Friday that Marks pleaded not guilty to the three charges against him — capital murder of multiple persons, tampering with evidence and burglary. When asked to give his plea Marks reportedly replied, “Absolutely not guilty.”

No pre-trial date has been set and the attorney for Cedric Marks, Michael Whites, says it could be up to two years before a trial if the state pursues the death penalty.

Marks attorney for the burglary charge asked to withdraw, and the judge granted the motion. This means Marks will have a new attorney assigned in that case.

He was reportedly guarded by extra security personnel as he stood in court Friday after he tried to escape custody in Montgomery County while being extradited to Bell County in February. 

Marks has been held at the Bell County Jail on a $1.7 million bond.