Texas prosecutors seek death penalty for Marks

BELTON, Texas -- Prosecutors in Texas say they will seek the death penalty for a professional MMA fighter accused in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a shallow grave in Oklahoma.

Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said Monday that his office has filed formal notice to seek the death penalty against 45-year-old Cedric Marks. Marks was indicted in the slayings of 28-year-old Jenna Scott and 32-year-old Michael Swearingin.

Investigators say the two friends were killed Jan. 3 at a residence in Killeen, Texas, about 127 miles southwest of Dallas. Their bodies were found in a shallow grave in Clearview, Oklahoma, about 80 miles east of Oklahoma City.

Marks, Scott's ex-boyfriend, has pleaded not guilty. Michael White, one of Marks' attorneys, told the Temple Daily Telegram that Marks "was not surprised'' that prosecutors will seek the death penalty and "is anticipating his day in court when his story is told.''

His current girlfriend, Maya Maxwell, also faces charges in the case. Maxwell has told authorities she was at the Texas residence when the victims were killed and when their bodies were buried in Oklahoma, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

In February, Marks prompted a manhunt in Texas when he escaped from a private prisoner transportation van following his arrest in Michigan. He was recaptured nine hours later.

Marks compiled a record of 31-28-0 during his professional MMA career, which began in 1999. His last fight was in September.