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'I was never going to keep quiet about this' | Alleged accomplice in Cedric Marks double capital murder trial accepts plea deal

Maya Maxwell will face 20 years in prison in exchange for her testimony against Marks. Marks says law enforcement is trying to paint a false narrative.

BELL COUNTY, Texas — The trial for Cedric Marks, the man accused of killing his former girlfriend, Jenna Scott, and her friend Michael Swearingin, in Jan. of 2019, is now in its fourth week. 

On Wednesday, May 10, Marks' alleged accomplice and former girlfriend, Maya Maxwell, was back on the witness stand for direct examination from prosecutors.

Maxwell testified, "I was never going to keep quiet about this." She says she was trying to figure out when the safest time would be.

Maxwell says she had multiple interviews with Michigan State Police after arriving back to Michigan from Texas. Maxwell admitted to being dishonest and eventually gave up the burial site of Scott and Swearingin's bodies in Oklahoma. 

Maxwell claimed the reason she didn't speak up sooner was because she didn't want Marks or his wife, Ginell McDonough, to find out since they were all living together at the time in Michigan. 

On Jan. 11, 2019 Maxwell ended up speaking with Temple detectives for about nine hours after reaching out to them via email. She says she told them anything she remembered.

"I was never scared of law enforcement," Maxwell said. "They kept me safe."

While in prison, Maxwell testified Marks sent her a letter marked as legal mail. According to Maxwell, the letter had three options: she could either go against Marks and risk losing their son, find a different attorney so he could know what was being talked about or they could live some sort of happily ever after and fight everyone together. 

Maxwell testified she wanted no communication with Marks going forward. 

The jury learned Maxwell accepted a plea deal in Oct. 2021. In the agreement, Maxwell will serve 20 years on two counts of tampering evidence with chance of parole. This all comes after her cooperation to help officials with the investigation in the death penalty case against Marks.

After the lunch break, Marks started his cross examination. Maxwell had her head down and did not make eye contact with Marks as she shared her testimony. 

Marks began by asking Maxwell if she remembered sending two love letters to him while he was in person. In the letters, Maxwell testified she asked Marks to be present for the birth of their child. Additionally in the letters, Marks says Maxwell never says he hurts her. However, Maxwell says she was still terrified of what Marks was capable of.

Before the trip to Texas on Jan. 1, 2019, Marks claimed he never wanted Maxwell to travel with him. Maxwell says she went with Marks because she has PTSD from the sound of guns and fireworks. This all comes after a previous relationship.

"I just didn't want to be alone," Maxwell said. 

Maxwell testified she also wanted to be supportive because Marks was allegedly turning himself in on a warrant. Leading up to the trip, she says Marks kept himself isolated, and she just wanted to be there for them.

Marks asked about their trip to Oklahoma after visiting Texas. Oklahoma is where the bodies of Swearingin and Scott were later discovered, all because of an interview with Maxwell.

Marks asked if she remembered they were going on a fishing trip with his family in the area. In the Walmart surveillance footage that has been played multiple times for the jury, Marks says they were buying a shovel, boxcutter and change of clothes because it was all for a fishing trip.

Maxwell firmly testified saying, "None of that ever happened."

Marks pointed out the inconsistencies with the interviews she gave to police and even in her testimony for this trial. He questioned whether the jury would know what was true. 

Marks said Maxwell could have called at any point after their trip when she was alone at the house in Michigan, but she never contacted law enforcement to tell them, "My boyfriend is a killer."

Maxwell burst out crying and put her hands up to her face when Marks said this.

Marks then asked why she didn't call law enforcement after seeing Scott handcuffed in Swearingin's home. Maxwell started crying again as she recalled the last breathing moments of Scott. Maxwell says her reasoning is all because she didn't feel safe.

Marks countered saying, "It's because your story isn't true."

Surveillance footage also played of Scott and Swearingin walking in and out of Swearingin's home. She confirmed this was the house Scott was handcuffed in. 

While the clips played, Maxwell again buried her face as this would be the last time the two were seen alive.

Marks is expected to finish cross examination with Maxwell Thursday at the Bell County Justice Center. He says it will last several hours. 

6 News will be in the courtroom and will update this story as it further develops.

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