Mixed martial artist Cedric Marks and his girlfriend have been indicted for murder in Texas after allegedly murdering Marks’ ex-girlfriend and her friend.
Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza announced on Wednesday that Marks, 44, and his girlfriend, 26-year-old Maya Maxwell, had been indicted on capital murder charges, in addition to being charged with tampering with evidence, ABC News reports.
The bodies of Jenna Scott, 28, and Michael Swearingin, 32, were found buried in a haphazard grave in Oklahoma on January 15, hundreds of miles away from their homes in Texas and 11 days after they were reported missing, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
Swearingin was strangled and died from asphyxiation, ABC News reports, citing an autopsy report. While Scott’s autopsy is still underway and a specific cause of death has yet to be announced, she is believed to have died from “homicidal evidence,” court documents obtained by the outlet state.
Scott reportedly ended her allegedly abusive relationship with Marks, who was sometimes known professionally as “Spider-Man,” last year, the Austin American-Statesmen reports. The two reportedly met on Tinder in 2015, but the relationship allegedly soon took a violent turn. The MMA fighter has a documented history of abuse against Scott, who tried unsuccessfully to get a protective order against her ex after she claimed he broke into her home. She told a judge that Marks had choked her and threatened her on multiple occasions, and that he had admitted to killing someone in the past, but the judge did not rule in her favor — a fact that has led Scott’s father to file a complaint against the judge responsible.
Marks was arrested in Michigan in January, but prompted an hours-long manhunt the following month when he briefly escaped from a prisoner transport van when the drivers, en route to a Texas jail, stopped for McDonald’s, Fox News reports. Marks later denied killing Scott and told news outlets that he was not trying to escape.
“I can only imagine what’s going on with their family, and I am so sorry for their losses, but I did not and had nothing to do with this,” he told KPRC2, an NBC affiliate in Houston.
Maxwell, who is pregnant with Marks’ child, told police that she witnessed Marks go into a room alone with Swearingin first, and then Scott, and that after he came out of the room, the other party was dead inside, according to an affidavit obtained by the Austin American-Statesman.
Marks is currently sitting in the Bell County Jail with bail set at $1.77 million, while Maxwell’s bail has been set at $500,000, according to jail records obtained by the Austin American-Statesman. Police have also reported that Marks is considered a person of interest in the disappearance of another ex-girlfriend, April Pease, who went missing from Minnesota in 2009, according to the outlet.
Jonathan Scott, Jenna Scott’s father, is hoping his daughter’s alleged killer will receive the death penalty, he told KXAN-TV, an NBC affiliate station out of Austin, Texas.
“I hope that the DA is planning on pursuing the death penalty, that’s pretty much what’s on my mind right now,” he said.
Garza could not confirm on Wednesday whether the death penalty would be pursued and stated that such a decision would be made after all “pertinent information” is reviewed, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.