Belton, TX (FOX 44) — The partner of convicted killer Cedric Marks officially pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to her part in the deaths of Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin in 2019.
The judge sentenced Maya Maxwell to 20 years in prison for tampering with a corpse.
The hearing for Maya Maxwell was originally set for July, but was reset for August 1st. According to Maxwell’s defense attorney Kyle Watkins, “the basis of their motion was that Mr. Garza was not in town and he wanted to be here.”
Prosecutors say Maxwell is an accomplice to Cedric Marks in the murders of Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin. A jury found him guilty of capital murder in June and sentenced him to death. Now, Marks is asking for a new trial.
“Maya Maxwell has an agreement with the state to plead guilty to tampering two counts of tampering with a corpse, which is punishable by 2 to 20 years in exchange for the dismissal of the capital murder charge and we were set for a plea today,” says Watkins.
Maxwell’s attorney is hoping there will be no further delay with the plea deal as she has already served over 4 years in jail, making her eligible to be considered for parole.
“Once she finally gets into her guilty plea, she will then be in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the prison system. And they have 180 days to interview her for parole. So that 180 day clock does not start until she enters her guilty plea,” says Watkins.
Even though Maxwell already anticipated today’s hearing, Maxwell was emotional and trembling throughout the process to know she still has to serve time.
After Maxwell’s sentencing, Michael Swearingin’s mother, Deborah Harrison got to give her final thoughts to Maxwell telling her she’s grateful for Maxwell speaking out.
“If we were still wondering where Michael and Jenna were, I just don’t know how we would still be alive because this is already so bad, and we at least got them back to say goodbye and bury them,” said Harrison.
Harrison hopes Maxwell makes good choices if she gets out on parole and has a relationship with God to live a better life.
FOX44 spoke with Marks trial attorney, John Galligan, at the end of Maxwell’s hearing for Galligan to confirm Marks is motioning for a retrial next Wednesday.
Harrison doesn’t see it happening.
“I don’t think it’s going to be, you know, there’s not going to be a retrial, granted, so I don’t think we’ll even darken the doors. It’s not worth the effort to show up because nothing’s going to come out of it,” said Harrison.