DNA evidence discussed during Cedric Marks pre-trial hearing


BELL COUNTY, Texas – 100 items are being tested for DNA evidence in the Cedric Marks capital murder case.

This is what was discussed during a pretrial hearing Thursday afternoon.

The 44-year-old is being held on a $1.7 million bond for the murder of Temple friends Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin.

Thursday’s pretrial hearing involved two motions – one of which has to do with seven drops of blood on a light green-colored towel. The defense either wants the DNA testing to be done under video recording or have those samples tested in an outside lab. This is only the newest information in a case which began in 2018.

One year ago, the lives of two Temple families changed. Friends Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin went missing. Investigators found their bodies buried in Oklahoma about two weeks later.

During this time, Cedric Marks was not named as a person of interest, but he did have a warrant out for his arrest for burglarizing Scott’s home in 2018.

Police arrested Marks in Michigan three days after finding Swearingin’s car abandoned in Austin. A week later, the bodies of the friends were found, and Marks was to be extradited to Bell County.

In February, Marks escaped custody in Conroe and was found after a nine-hour manhunt.

The next day he woke up in the Bell County Jail with formal capital murder charges, and has his bond set at $1.7 million.

By April, a grand jury indicted Cedric Marks. Court documents claim Marks knowingly caused the death of Swearingin by strangulation and Scott by homicidal violence at a Killeen home on January 3, 2019.

Marks pleaded not guilty to all charges, including burglary and capital murder, the following month.

If found guilty, Marks faces life in prison or the death penalty.

Thursday was Marks’s third pretrial hearing. Three weeks from today, we are expecting to hear from witnesses about the DNA evidence on the towel and possibly the other items.

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