BELL COUNTY, Texas — Trial resumes for Cedric Marks at the Bell County Justice Center. He is accused of the murders of Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin back in 2019.
The day was cut a few hours short because of severe weather but started out with state prosecutors attempting to admit new evidence outside the presence of the jury.
The evidence includes four pieces of video and audio footage from interviews with Maya Maxwell, Ginell McDonough and Marks' family conducted by Temple Police Detective Corey Powell.
Marks has to review this information in order to prepare for cross examination of witnesses. He expressed frustration because the footage has been in the hands of Powell since 2019, but prosecutors just found out about the evidence the previous day.
The video was processed before trial started on Friday, April 28.
Some of the interviews go back to Marks' escape a month after custody. Marks says there is no pending charge for his alleged escape on Feb. 3, 2019, so the evidence should not be admitted.
"This is a last minute entry by the state," Marks said while asking for additional time to review the evidence.
The judge is giving Marks additional time to review the evidence. Marks is reviewing a thumb drive with data from multiple phone extractions as well as this interview footage from Powell before trial resumes Monday.
Another issue brought up outside the presence of the jury was Marks' wife, McDonough and whether or not she will testify in court.
Marks says he wants to quash the in-person testimony for his wife because she cannot leave their children behind in Tennessee. Marks claims his wife is scheduled to be at the Bell County Justice Center for six days which will make things financially hard for their family.
The judge denied Marks' request. As of the latest, the jury will be hearing from McDonough next week.
WITNESSES TO TAKE THE STAND:
Detective Sergeant John Forner of the Michigan State Police was recalled by prosecutors first.
The next witness to take the stand is Texas DPS Ranger Adam Russell. Russell was contacted by Powell to help with the missing person investigation. Russell tracked Marks' phone and processed a search warrant for Michael.
Along with Kelsey Kemp, Russell looked for forensic evidence, blood, alarm data, missing clothing, etc. while walking through the home. The two took photographs and swabs inside the house.
Russell says the house was surprisingly organized, "It was a clean house for a single guy."
Using liquid Crystal Violet, Russell found blood spots on the wall as well as one on the garage floor. He determined it needed further testing, so the swabs were sent to detectives.
Russell also took pictures of Rebecca Adney's Toyota RAV4. He used tape lifts to check for possible hair and finger nail clippings.
"Jenna and Michael might have been transported in this vehicle," Russell said.
Russell traveled to Oklahoma to excavate where Jenna and Michael were located. He measured the distance from the burial site to a cemetery where Marks' family was. The distance was 703 yards.
Russell received swabs of evidence at the burial site from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. He then transported the evidence from the burial site back to Temple detectives.
The last witness to take the stand was Michael Dent who was with the Temple Police Department for 10 years before becoming a special agent for the DEA.
Dent says he solely took swabs at Adney's residence in Killeen on a search warrant. He also was asked to look for surveillance footage by Adney's house. Dent did not find anything.
In cross examination, Marks questioned Dent about checking nearby convenience stores and knocking on people's doors for footage. Dent said he did not do this.
Additionally, Dent said he did not take anything from the house since he was not the lead detective at the time. Adney did not report anything missing in her first search warrant other than a pillow and a towel.
However, in a search warrant later conducted by Powell, Adney would report tape, a mop head and blankets missing.