Cedric Marks, from Temple, Texas, has escaped from custody after he was recently arrested for the burglary of Jenna Scott’s home in August 2018. Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin’s bodies were found in Oklahoma, weeks after the car they were in was found abandoned in Austin, Texas. Police are also investigating the disappearance of Marks’ girlfriend, April Pease, in 2009. Marks has not been named a suspect by police in either investigation, but after his escape authorities said for the first time that three murder charges against him are “pending.”
UPDATE: Cedric Marks has been apprehended.
1. Cedric Marks Escaped While the Prison Transport Was Getting Food in Conroe, Texas
Cedric Marks was arrested in Michigan for burglary charges in Texas, and he had been in transport to Texas from Michigan since January 31, KWTX reported. A private transport company called Texas Prisoners Transport Services was overseeing his move, and he escaped while they stopped for food early this morning.
The escape happened on 801 N. Loop 336 W at a McDonald’s in Conroe. Police are asking residents in that area to stay indoors.
Marks was wearing an orange jumpsuit, no shirt, and had restraints when he escaped. He escaped on foot, authorities said, and was moving in an eastern direction.
Marks’ criminal record includes arrests for interfering with a 911 call, harassment, threats, bad checks, assault and battery, armed robbery, and disorderly conduct, The Daily Mail reported. He has been arrested in Texas, Washington, and Oklahoma before the Michigan arrest.
In Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1992, he was charged with an assault and battery felony, but the charges were later dismissed, Bloody Elbow, an MMA publication, reported. He then served six years in prison and was released in 1998 after he pleaded guilty for attempted robbery with a firearm.
UPDATE: Marks was captured about nine hours after he escaped.
2. He Was Arrested for Burglarizing Jenna Scott’s Home. Scott & Her Friend Michael Swearingin Went Missing in Temple & Were Found Buried in Oklahoma
Cedric Marks, 44, Jenna Scott’s ex-boyfriend, has not been named as a suspect in her murder or her friend Michael Swearingin’s murder. But while she was missing, he was arrested in Michigan on January 8, 2019 for burglarizing Scott’s home in October 2018, Fox 17 reported. He was being extradited to Texas when he escaped.
Jenna Scott, 28, and her friend Michael Swearingin, 32, were reported missing in Temple, Texas, after being last seen on Thursday, January 3. They were last heard from around 3 a.m. on Friday, January 4 under suspicious circumstances. On January 15, their bodies were found in Oklahoma. They were found on property at E 1140 Road, five miles east of State Highway 27, Fox 17 reported.
Jenna Scott’s ex-boyfriend, Cedric Marks, has family in Clearview, KCENTV reported. His cousin, Shirley Nero, is the town’s historian. Nero told KCENTV that Marks’ dad grew up in Clearview and they have a family reunion there every year.
After they went missing, Swearingin’s gray Hyundai Genesis was found on East 12th Street and Poquito Street, KXAN reported. His phone was found about a block away. Jenna Scott’s brother Talon Scott said on Facebook that the car was seen with the doors unlocked and in a neighborhood they would not have gone to. Richie Davis, Swearingin’s friend, said on Facebook that the car had been parked with the doors unlocked for more than 24 hours before they found it. Davis said the phone stopped tracking around the corner from where the car was found.
On January 7, Swearingin’s friend Richie Davis wrote on Facebook that security footage was deleted at Swearingin’s home, which left Swearingin’s friends suspicious. Davis confirmed this with TDTNews. “We suspect foul play inside of (Swearingin’s) house based on the security updates,” he said. “However, all footage was completely deleted from his home computer around 8:30 p.m. and the camera was shut off.”
CBS Austin later clarified that the security equipment from Swearingin’s home had gone missing. A source told CBS that the home surveillance equipment was missing from Swearingin’s Temple home, and investigators were looking into whether foul play had happened at that address.
Scott’s younger brother, Talon Scott, said from the beginning that he thought foul play was involved in their disappearance. On his Facebook page, Talon shared, “I personally believe this is a kidnapping/hostage or worse situation. If you see this status I at least ask you to share it and if so inclined, call the Texas Rangers and let them know that loved members of the community are missing. Any help given is greatly appreciated by myself and the family and friends of these beautiful souls.”
WFAA reported that Scott had filed a protective order in July 2018 against Marks, whom she had met on Tinder and dated. The protective order, which you can read here, alleged that her ex-boyfriend was violent and had broken into her home. According to KDH News, Marks was previously arrested in August 2018 for violating Scott’s protective order and posted $10,000 bond. His January 2019 arrest was connected to a burglary of Scott’s home in late August. The arrest warrant was issued November 9, 2018 by Bell County Justice of the Peace, and Marks was arrested in Grand Rapids, Michigan, KXAN reported. Scott was denied a request for a new protective order in September 2018.
3. Officials Said Three Murder Charges Are Pending Against Marks. April Pease, the Mother of One of His Children, Has Been Missing Since 2009.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said that three murder charges are “pending” against Marks, but did not specify who is connected to those charges. This is the first time law enforcement have said anything about pending murder charges.
Marks has not named as a suspect in the deaths of Scott or Swearingin, or in the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend April Pease.
Marks’ former girlfriend, April Pease, has been missing since 2009 in Minnesota. They were in a custody battle over their son when she disappeared, The Daily Mail reported. He was questioned but not arrested. Bloomington Police Public Information Officer Mike Hartlsey said they were looking at Marks as a possible person of interest in Pease’s case, KCENTV reported, but he’s not considered a suspect.
Dottie Pease, April’s mother, said she struggled with substance abuse and had moved to Minnesota to seek treatment and get away from Marks, KXAN reported.
KCENTV reported that Pease had been afraid of Marks and moved to a place for domestic abuse victims to get away. Court documents noted that Pease had a drug addiction that affected her children’s safety. The court granted Pease custody and ordered Marks to have a domestic violence assessment. But when Pease disappeared, Marks was granted temporary custody in 2009.
On November 1, 2008, Marks wrote a letter on WordPress about April Pease. The subject line reads, “A letter to the kidnappers of my son….” and is the only post on that blog. In the long post, he describes the custody battle with Pease in detail. At the end of the blog he writes, “Anyway, I simply wanted you to know my side also. Again, I’m making NO attempt at contacting April, I don’t know that she’s there, only that this organization helped to move her. I wanted you all to know that this person, this woman is NOT one of the true victims in need. I’m risking two different court cases by even contacting you, but I’m doing it to let my side be heard. Thank you for reading…. I sent this letter out of pure frustration to ‘New Beginnings’ womens shelter in Seattle, WA. I’m indigent at this moment because I’ve spent all the resources for the past 2 months since this has happened…”
4. Marks’ Wife & Girlfriend Are Facing Criminal Charges for Harboring a Fugitive (Marks) & Tampering with Evidence. Maxwell Said She Took Swearingin’s Car & Left It in Austin.
Ginell McDonough, 37, Marks’ wife, and Maya Maxwell, 26, are facing criminal charges for harboring Marks, MLive reported. They appeared in Muskegon County District Court, charged with obstructing justice, tampering with evidence, and harboring a fugitive. MLive reported that McDonough was Marks’ wife. She was arrested on January 11, 2019. McDonough is an Army Staff Sergeant, KCENTV reported. McDonough’s bond was set at $75,000.
Maxwell, MLive reported, is Marks’ girlfriend and is being extradited to Texas. Officials have said that they are examining cell phones and computers for evidence. She told police that she took Swearingin’s car and abandoned it in Austin in an attempt to prevent law enforcement from finding the car.
Prosecutors alleged that Marks was at Maxwell’s home from January 5 to January 9, KCENTV reported. McDonough has said that she and Marks were married in October 2003 (other sources say they were married in 2002.)
Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza told Fox 44 the following: “Maya Rene Maxwell has been charged with the 3rd degree felony offense of Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence arising out of Bell County, Texas. … Her bond is set at $150,000.”
Maxwell was extradited from Michigan to Bell County, Texas.
5. Cedric Marks Is a Former MMA Fighter Named ‘Spider-Man’ Who Taught Women’s Self Defense in Killeen
Marks told KCENTV on the phone, before he was extradited to Texas, that he had nothing to do with Scott’s disappearance, and he was saddened by what happened. “Not only do I have no history of violence towards women or children, I teach free women’s assault programs or did before I went on the run away from her,” he told KCENTV.
Marks taught women’s self defense at the Title Boxing Club in Killeen, KWTX reported. In a May 2018 interview, he said that he teaches classes to help empower women, such as teaching them how to escape chokeholds. “This is more about prevention than just self-defense moves you might have seen on YouTube,” he told KWTX.
You can see Cedric Marks’ MMA profile here. He has a 20-year professional MMA career, and his first fight was in 1998, Bloody Elbow reported. His record is 31-27 and 1 NC, and his most recent fight was March 10, 2018.