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Cedric Marks reprimanded by judge after profane outburst

Marks allegedly raised his voice and used profanity at the judge during a recess.

TEMPLE, Texas — Correction: A previous version of this story said Marks' standby attorneys were taking over the case. That is not correct. Marks will continue to represent himself with attorneys who can answer questions for him.

Cedric Marks was reprimanded during his capital murder trial on April 26 after using profanity towards the judge.

Marks, on trial for the murder of Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin in 2019, has been representing himself in the trial, calling into question whether or not his counsel would have to take over the rest of the trial.

The outburst came as Marks was trying to get evidence admitted in the trial. The evidence in question was personal screenshots and still photos of a video that Marks had previously tried to enter into evidence.

Rebecca Adney, who Marks was in a relationship with off and on for eight years, was the witness on the stand at the time. Adney told the court she saw the footage but did not personally see it filmed.

Despite Adney seeing the footage, prosecutors continuously objected to the way Marks phrased his questions to try and authenticate the evidence, leading to the judge asking Marks if he would like to take a break to discuss with his counsel how to ask the questions.

Once the jury was dismissed and court was in recess, Marks got upset and raised his voice and used profanity.

The judge said enough was enough and had Marks removed from the courtroom for his behavior.

When Marks returned, the judge asked him if he had spoken to his attorneys to have his questions answered. He said he had. He also told the judge he would not have anymore outbursts. At that point, the trial continued with Marks representing himself.


Adney was the second witness to take the stand for day eight of the trial. The jury was presented with a thread of text messages between Marks and Adney between Dec. 11, 2018 to Jan. 8, 2019.

Adney was in Wyoming from Dec. 16, 2018 to Jan. 7, 2019. Marks was said to be in Michigan and was asking for money from Adney to help with his children. She also bought him a red Jeep. 

On Jan. 1, 2019, Marks said in a message to Adney:

I'm done now. I'm letting people go now and telling everyone the truth. Hopefully they hate me and it'll be easier for them. I used to hurt people and just go away for a while, but this is what it's come to. This is what I deserve. It's here and time for me to pay... Remember what I really am. I have no heart. I am inhumane. I won't be seeing you again. I hope it hurts when they shoot me... You deserve better. I have a long drive tomorrow. Stop texting me. Bye.  

Marks was supposed to pick Adney up at an airport in Austin after her Wyoming trip. In the text messages, Adney is asking multiple times when he will be back in Texas from Michigan. Marks avoids answering the question, saying he is at the hospital for a torn bicep injury and does not know when he will be back. 

There is not much communication after this, but on Jan. 7, 2019 Marks says, "Everything has me super stressed." On Jan. 8, 2019, he adds, "This whole thing has gone crazy, I'm so afraid right now."

Adney claims she doesn't recall what Marks was scared of. 

While Adney is trying to fly into Austin to come back home on Jan. 8, 2019, Adney brings up a Facebook situation on the message thread with Marks. This situation is the missing person search for Scott. 

Adney says in the messages, "I want to open my mouth." Marks replies saying not to do anything because she will be thrown into it. He says, "They're making me out to be a monster, and I have evidence against her."

Adney says when she came back homes from her trip, items were missing from her house including a hand towel, trash bags, blankets, electrical tape and a mop head. Only one person had a spare key to her house and that would be Marks. She mailed Marks a spare key to pick her up from the airport in Austin. 

Adney also describes how her white Toyota RAV4 was clean before she left for her Wyoming trip. When she came back, the driver's seat was pushed forward, dirt was on the tires and something was spilled on the center console.

She never said anything to law enforcement. However, Temple PD conducted a search of the house when Swearingin and Scott were missing. Adney did consent to this. 

There also was a spot on the front bedroom floor, according to Adney. She says there was a whitish spot that seemed to be mopped up.

Prosecutors then presented evidence of surveillance footage from Jan. 4, 2019. Video shows Marks and another female entering a Walmart in Henryetta, OK. 

When leaving the Walmart, Marks is carrying a few bags. The unidentified female is carrying a yellow square headed shovel, similar to the one that was found just minutes from where Scott and Swearingin's bodies were discovered. 

Adney confirmed the man in the video is Marks, but she cannot make out who the woman is.

Next, prosecutors present evidence of Adney's white Toyota RAV4 that is seen driving back and forth inside of Swearingin's neighborhood.

The video is taken from different houses throughout the neighborhood. Adney says it looks like two people are in the car based off of the footage. 

Prosecutors then jump to a letter and transcript Marks sent to Adney after Scott and Swearingin's bodies were discovered. 

In the transcript, Marks is giving a statement to Detective Corey Powell. Marks redacts some of the content in the transcript. Prosecutors brought up the redactions and read parts of the full transcript. Marks said to Powell that he lied to multiple women, used them and strung them along.


Marks and Adney are having normal conversation and laughing when this next step begins in the trial. 

Prosecutors and the judge ask for Marks to stop socializing. 

When Marks asks about his alleged aggression, Adney says he was never violent or hostile when they were together for the time she knew him. She says he never mentioned anything about Swearingin. However, she knew about Scott. 

Marks then brings up the items missing from her house. Marks says Adney never reported items were missing until there was a second police search on Jan. 27, 2019. Adney confirms she only noticed a hand towel that was missing when the police first came on Jan. 10. 

During the text message threads, Adney says she believes Marks was going to harm himself. That's why he was acting the way he was. 

Lastly, Marks brings up photo evidence of a white vehicle located outside of a training center that Adney and Marks both went to. Marks presented a photo of the side of the vehicle from a distance and asked Adney if the car was hers. Adney confirmed. 

However, Marks showed more images of the same car from a closer and more direct angle. Adney says the car wasn't hers. Marks fired back saying that her car is unique, so how do we know if the car from the neighborhood surveillance footage is hers?

Trial resumes tomorrow at 9 a.m. in the Bell County Justice Center. It's expected to last until the second week of May. 

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