BELL COUNTY, Texas — New details emerged about the day double murder suspect Cedric Marks escaped from a prison transport van just north of Houston. Marks is accused of killing Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin in January of 2019.
The driver of the van and multiple law enforcement agents took the stand at Marks' trial on Thursday, May 18 to walk the jury through Marks' escape in Conroe.
It all started when inmate truck driver, Marie Sepulveda, and her partner stopped at a McDonald's for breakfast on the way to Bell County from Michigan.
While Sepulveda ordered food for the prisoners, her partner was inside the vehicle. In McDonald's surveillance footage, Marks climbed out the back window of the van when Sepulveda returned with drinks and food.
Sepulveda yelled at her partner. While her partner attempted to chase down Marks, the two both called law enforcement. Sepulveda says she noticed that the metal wire in the van was broken, which allowed Marks to break free.
In cross, Marks questioned the driver about why she did not shoot him since she had a shotgun. Sepulveda says that would not be proper protocol.
Prosecutors and Marks also mentioned a potential deal Marks made with the driver's partner on a piece of paper to help him escape in exchange for money.
The paper was never found when crime scene investigator James Lindeman processed the van. The driver also could not confirm.
After Marks left the eyes of the two drivers, the next person who would eventually find him was Conroe Police Officer David Peek.
Peek testified he responded to an officer's call around 7:22 a.m. on Feb. 3, 2019 about an escaped prisoner from transport. Over 100 officers covered 10-12 miles to search for Marks.
Peek found Marks nine hours later after a homeowner in Conroe expressed fear about Marks near his home. The house on Windswept Drive was just a few blocks away from the McDonald's. Peek said after lifting a trash can lid up, he found Marks in it.
"I see Mr. Marks facing me with his hands up," Peek said.
Peek says Marks immediately complied with law enforcement.
Digital forensic investigator, Jarod Browne, also shared testimony related to physical extraction reports on Maxwell's and Marks' phones. He collected over six terabytes worth of data using Axiom.
Browne testified the majority of the information on Marks' phone was deleted from Jan. 5 to Jan. 9, 2019. However, Browne was able to recover the data using his special software.
Browne's findings showed search history for how to delete messages from Marks' phone on Jan. 2, 2019, just one day before Scott and Swearingin went missing.
There were multiple website search attempts to find the phone number and address of Bruce Thomas, who was in a relationship with Scott, on the same day.
Marks and Maxwell's reports also showed search history of the victims and multiple screenshots of their pictures on Facebook.
Google map navigation from Maxwell's phone showed travel from Michigan to Killeen.
Maxwell's phone had background checks of the victims through National Cellular. The account was made with her email, but the name was under Marks with his card information.
Browne additionally found searches for Scott's mother one day before the protective hearing between Marks and Scott in 2018.
Marks argued he deleted information to save space, but prosecutors fired back saying Marks looked up how to do so beforehand.
Prosecutors plan to rest their case Friday. Marks says he will be finished with his witnesses next week on Wednesday. Judge Steve Duskie says the earliest day for a verdict is May 26.