Breaking News
More () »

'Are you ready Mr. Marks?' | Cedric Marks found guilty of capital murder for killing his ex-girlfriend and her friend

The jury began deliberated for nearly four hours on Wednesday after closing arguments.

BELL COUNTY, Texas — After six long weeks in court, the jury has found Cedric Marks guilty of capital murder for killing his ex-girlfriend, Jenna Scott, and her friend, Michael Swearingin, in Temple back in January 2019. 

The verdict was announced shortly after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 24.

Jury members began deliberating around 1:30 p.m. after both sides presented their emotional closing arguments. Experts anticipated a verdict would likely come down Wednesday afternoon.

A dozen Bell County Sheriff's Deputies lined the courtroom as the jury was led back in to deliver their verdict.

It took four years for the case to go to trial, which began on Monday, April 17.

The sentencing hearing for Marks is scheduled to be held on Monday, June 5 at 8:45 a.m. 

A now convicted Marks faces the death penalty.

Once the verdict was read, several family members and friends were crying but remained silent. As far as Marks, he also remained silent, despite multiple outbursts throughout this trial. 

In closing arguments, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza reminded everyone how horrible the deaths of Scott and Swearingin were, while highlighting that their killer was standing before them in court.

Garza stated, "What would Jenna and Michael say if they were here today? We are the voice for them. You will give justice to two people who didn't deserve to die."

Marks went through a PowerPoint presentation titled, "The State's Narrative vs. Cedric Joseph Marks" during his closing arguments. 

While going through the presentation, Marks began getting emotional, stating, "I didn't commit any crime. I can look at the family and say I did not kill your daughter, I did not kill your son."

Marks cried to the jury with shackles on his feet begging for his life, but the jury still decided he was guilty. 

Marks pointed back to his accomplice, Maya Maxwell, lying in nine interviews saying, "She's the most convincing liar I've ever met." 

First Assistant District Attorney Stephanie Newell ended closing arguments by reminding everyone how heinous the crimes committed were. 

While showing the courtroom pictures from Scott's autopsy, Newell stated, "He can say he loved Jenna, but this is where he left her." 

Newell also went into how Maxwell helped law enforcement figure everything out, even where the bodies were. Cell site analysis also showed her near Marks every step of the way.

"Cedric Marks hid behind Maya Maxwell," Newell stated. 

Newell referred to Marks as obsessive, relentless, threatening, harassing, full of jealousy and rage. 

The First Assistant District Attorney then provided this very powerful statement:

“I think I want to end with this. I want the last words for Mr. Marks to hear before he is found guilty to be the last words Jenna heard: Are you ready, Mr. Marks?"

The jury then began their deliberations. 

Family and prosecutors are not speaking to media until sentencing. They do share with 6 News this has been years in the making. Now they finally have closure. 

The case has been unique because Marks was representing himself. He did not have any legal background but had occasional help from his standby counsel.

The key witness in this case was Maya Maxwell, who was Marks' accomplice. Without her giving up bodies to law enforcement in her later interviews, prosecution says law enforcement could very well still be looking for the bodies. 

Cell phone and bank record analysis reports were also pivotal in this trial. 

Coverage on what happened in the courtroom throughout this trial can be found on our website. 

6 News will update with the latest

Before You Leave, Check This Out