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Texas to seek death penalty for MMA fighter accused of double homicide

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Cedric Marks was indicted on two counts of capital murder earlier this year. He has plead not guilty to those charges.

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Cedric Marks is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and her friend. Bell County Sheriff’s Office

[CW: The following story discusses alleged domestic abuse, harassment, and murder]

According to USA Today prosecutors in Bell County, TX are planning to seek the death penalty for Cedric Marks, 45. A long-time MMA fighter, Marks was indicted in the killings of Jenna Scott, 28, and Michael Swearingin, 32, in March. Marks has plead not guilty to all charges.

The remains of Scott, Marks’ former girlfriend, and Swearingin, her friend, were discovered in shallow graves in Clearview, OK on January 3rd. Marks’ current girlfriend Maya Maxwell, who recently gave birth while incarcerated, is also facing charges in this case.

She has told authorities that Scott and Swearingin died after being alone in rooms with Marks. Maxwell has also confessed to moving Swearingin’s vehicle in an attempt to sidetrack the investigation into the killings.

Scott and Swearingin were declared missing in December. Around this time Marks was arrested in Grand Rapids, MI. He was arrested on a burglary charge after he was accused of robbing Scott’s Temple, TX home back in late 2018.

The reported break-in happened shortly after Scott had a request for a two-year protective order against Marks turned down by Judge Paul LePak. During court proceedings Scott claimed that Marks had previously choked her unconscious and had threatened to kill her and her family. Scott also claimed that Marks had told her he had gotten away with murder in the past and he knew how to cover it up.

Police in Bloomington, MN consider Marks a person of interest in the disappearance of April Pease. Marks and Pease were involved in a reportedly bitter child custody battle in 2008. Pease was granted custody of her and Marks’ child, but she went missing a year later. Custody then reverted to Marks. However, the state took custody of the child soon after.

Marks has spent the last 20-years competing in professional mixed martial arts. His most notable career appearance came in 2010, in a loss to Andrew Chappelle at Bellator Fighting Championships 20.

Support for survivors of domestic violence can be found from the following organizations:

USA - The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Canada - DAWN-RAFH Canada

UK and Ireland - Women’s Aid: 0808-2000-247

Rest of the World - HotPeachPages