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Forensic scientists reveal their findings in day 15 of Cedric Marks trial

In almost all reports, comparisons and findings, results came back inconclusive and unidentified.

BELL COUNTY, Texas — Day 15 of the Cedric Marks trial began with forensic scientists who did multiple reports on finger prints found on items belonging to Jenna Scott and her friend, Michael Swearingin. 

Marks is the man accused of murdering Scott and Swearingin back in 2019. He is representing himself in the double capital murder trial.

Stephanie Meek who was a forensic scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety in 2019 analyzed and compared prints. She produced a lab report on May 5, 2020 with her findings. 

Friction ridge analyst Bonny Manno took over the case once Meek was promoted to quality assurance specialist. Manno generated two additional reports. 

In all three reports, finger print comparisons came back inconclusive and unidentified, even when compared to nine different sets of fingerprints belonging to Marks. 

Manno says this happens because of insufficient exemplifiers or poor quality of latent prints. 

Patricia Hafkey, who is a forensic biologist for the Texas Department of Public Safety, collected and tested items for DNA including the clothes off Scott and Swearingin's bodies when they were found. Additionally, swabs from vehicles and items from suspects and victims were collected.

Stephen Favela, who was a trace evidence forensic scientist with the Texas Department of Public Safety in Austin, did a series of hair testing. 

There were two reports; one on Nov. 12, 2022 and one on Jan. 5, 2023.

 Prosecution made a motion to admit the latest report which was just received on day 15 of the trial. Marks objected saying this was a late submission. At the time, Judge Steve Duskie originally denied the final test result as evidence. 

Favela traced evidence of hair fragments, body hair, animal hair, etc. throughout vehicles and items from the home of suspects and victims in this case.  

In the initial report, hair strands were found in the trunk of a white Toyota RAV4 registered to Marks' former girlfriend, Rebecca Adney. 

The report from Nov. 17, 2022 reads, "Some possible head hairs and fragments are visually similar to Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin's head hair." 

Favela also traced possible hair strands of the victims on a presumptive positive blood stained towel found in a suitcase in the office of Marks' wife, Ginell McDonough. 

Before recess, forensic scientists testified even though hair samples look like matches, it might not be a guarantee. 

After recess, Duskie spoke with only the prosecution and defense without anyone including reporters. 

We enter week four of the trial next week on Monday inside of the Bell County Justice. 

6 News previously said the start time will be 10:30 a.m. on Monday. However, the start time is 9:00 a.m. on Monday. Wednesday will start later at 10:30 a.m.

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