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'She became more fearful every day' | Jenna Scott's father testifies about the relationship between his daughter and Cedric Marks

On day 14 of the capital murder trial, Scott says his daughter would travel to work with him because she didn't want to be alone.

BELL COUNTY, Texas — It was another emotional day at the Bell County Justice Center for day 14 of the Cedric Marks trial. Marks is accused of murdering Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin back in 2019. 

On Thursday, May 4, key witnesses broke down the timeline of events leading up to Jenna Scott and Swearingin's disappearance as well as what happened after. 

The first witness to take the stand was Amanda Holtzclaw, a criminal investigator for the special victims unit of the Killeen Police Department.

Judge Steve Duskie ruled Holtzclaw could testify before jurors as long as she didn't mention the names of Marks' specific offenses. 

Holtzclaw was assigned to a domestic violence case between Jenna Scott and Marks in 2018. After Marks served a protective order, he reached out to Holtzclaw on Aug. 7, 2018, and then filed a report against Jenna Scott the next day.

He says the basis of his argument was video and audio footage of Jenna Scott assaulting him. Marks presented video and audio evidence to the courtroom which he says shows more to their relationship. 

In the video, Jenna Scott is hitting and cursing out Marks in his driveway. In the audio, she is crying after Marks broke up with her and says she's sorry for hitting him. Marks says in the audio the victim hit him 18 times. He informed her to stay away from his house and kids. 

Jenna Scott was initially arrested and Holtzclaw says Marks was happy when she was arrested. It wasn't until Aug. 14, 2018 that Holtzclaw interviewed Jenna Scott and concluded there was more to the story.

"When I looked further, he wasn't happy," Holtzclaw said. 

Holtzclaw charged Marks for filing a false police report after learning he reported the wrong video date. He claimed the clip was taken in May, 2019. However, thumb drive properties showed the video was filmed in Jan. 2019. 

Marks was also charged with a misdemeanor assault for bodily injury after Jenna Scott showed images of scratches and abuse from Marks. 

On Aug, 21. 2018, Holtzclaw says Jenna Scott emailed her about Marks breaking into her home and threatening her and her daughter. When the detective met with Scott she says she was shaking and terrified.  

Marks says he only went to her house to drop off items after their breakup. In cross examination, he says the protective order ended on Aug. 18, 2018, so he could drop off the items. 

In the heated debate, Marks asked if Holtzclaw had a history of going after men who file domestic violence claims.

Holtzclaw says Swearingin and Bruce Thomas were additionally contacted by Marks via Facebook messenger after Jenna Scott blocked him and changed her number. 

On Sept. 17, 2018, Holtzclaw testified that she told Marks to leave Jenna Scott alone at a dismissed protective hearing.  

As months went on, Holtzclaw heard about the disappearance of Jenna Scott and Swearingin in Jan. 2019. She was on maternity leave and passed what she knew along to the Temple Police Department.

Next to the stand was Jenna Scotts father, Johnathan Scott. 

At the dismissed protective hearing Jonathan Scott says Marks and his alleged accomplice, Maya Maxwell, drove by and confronted them at the Bell County Justice Center. 

Maxwell told Jenna Scott to kill herself while using profane language, according to Johnathan Scott. 

Jonathan Scott recalls the relationship between the two, saying it was good at first. However, Jenna Scott became more fearful further into their relationship. Jonathan Scott testified that his daughter would travel to his work because she didn't want to be alone. 

In Jonathan Scott's Vivint security camera footage, Marks stopped by twice on Aug. 20, 2018 and Aug. 21, 2018 to drop off items. 

In the first clip, Marks knocks on the front door multiple times and eventually tries to open the door. In the second, Marks doesn't knock. He tries to open up the door.

Jenna Scott's father testified that there was damage to their garage door as the crossbar was bent. This all came after Marks visited.  

Two packages were also sent to their house. One on Oct. 31, 2018 and one on Nov. 5, 2018. 

While the state was able to successfully admit the evidence of what was in the packages, Marks objected and said, "This is supposed to be a fair trial, and I'm not getting that."

In first package, there was a t-shirt with a picture of Scott and Marks on it as well as a handwritten letter from Scott. The second package had a typed letter. 

One package had a Fort Hood address. The other was sent from Title Boxing Gym in Killeen where Marks had worked at the time. 

In cross examination, Marks says to the Johnathan Scott, "I'm sorry for your loss. I'm sorry we're meeting again like this." 

Marks also apologized for asking the question, "Do you have knowledge of your daughter's past violent relationships?"

The last witness to take the stand was one of the lead detectives in Temple, James Corey Powell who shared an emotional testimony. 

He says he first learned about the disappearance of Jenna Scott and Swearingin through his pastor on Jan. 4, 2019.

Powell executed what's called a trap and trace warrant which tracks down a current location. This ultimately helped Powell and investigators find Marks at a mall in Michigan. 

Powell flew to Michigan and Marks was arrested just two days later. Police additionally arrested Marks' girlfriend, Maya Maxwell. 

Powell said Maxwell eventually told them she helped Marks bury Jenna Scott and Swearingin's bodies in a small Oklahoma town where Marks and his family would have reunions.

Powell paused and broke down into tears in the middle of his testimony while recalling the moment he found the two bodies. 

The state says Powell's early testimony was to establish background information for the next day of the trial. Powell will be on the stand next week. 

Trial kicks back up Friday, May 5 inside of the Bell County Justice Center.

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