Former MMA fighter who sparked manhunt after escape in Conroe speaks from jail

By Sophia Beausoleil - Reporter

CONROE, Texas - Two families in Central Texas continue to grieve after someone killed their loved ones and dumped their bodies in Oklahoma in January.

Cedric Marks, 44, has been charged with capital murder of multiple people. The inmate made news after he escaped from a private prisoner transport van in Conroe last weekend. He was caught shortly after escaping and taken to Bell County, where he remains behind bars.

KPRC2 spoke with Marks from jail via video visitation. We wanted to know how he escaped and where he was planning on going.

“I’m not really allowed to talk about that incident right now. Um, I can’t talk about that right now,” said Marks. “Despite what the media put out, I was not trying to escape. I was actually in fear, and I was not going anywhere at all.”

Marks wouldn't comment on how he escaped, but as he started to talk about the charges against him, he claimed he's innocent.

To friends and family, 32-year-old Michael Swearingen and 28-year-old Jenna Scott were known as people who were always willing to help others.

"She was a free spirit. She enjoyed helping people. She had a smile that could light up a room," Scott's father, Jonathan Scott, said.

Jenna Scott and Swearingen were like brother and sister. The friends went missing Jan. 4. On Jan. 17, their bodies were found in a small town in Oklahoma.

Marks is Jenna Scott's ex-boyfriend.

"I can only imagine what's going on with their family, and I am so sorry for their losses, but I did not and had nothing to do with this," Marks said.

On Sunday in Conroe, officials said Marks broke free from a private prisoner transportation company's vehicle. U.S. marshals arrested Marks in Michigan. The transportation company was hired to bring him back to Texas.

Conroe police said when the van stopped at a McDonald's, Marks somehow got out of his restraints and escaped. After a nine-hour manhunt, he was found hiding in a nearby trash can.

Marks said he can't talk about that day, but he didn't shy away from defending himself from the heinous crimes of which he's accused.

"Like I said, the media has put out a witch hunt for me, and I am not guilty," Marks said.

Marks' current girlfriend, Maya Maxwell, told authorities she was present when Marks allegedly killed both Jenna Scott and Swearingen at a home in Killeen.

An affidavit from Bell County states Maxwell gave information to police on where to find the bodies in Oklahoma. She's also currently in jail and is charged with tampering with evidence.

"I believe they coerced her and scared her and forced her to say something. Like, none of it has involved me," Marks said.

The Scott family said they don't buy what Marks is saying.

"He could twist any situation around, and that appears to be exactly what he's doing," Jonathan Scott said. "Let justice be served for Jenna and Michael."

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