By Joyce May
The Cove Herald
GATESVILLE — The trial of mixed martial arts fighter Cedric “Spiderman” Marks is expected to get underway Monday morning in 52nd District Court.
Three hundred prospective jurors have been called with jury selection scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Marks is accused of severely assaulting a man in the parking lot of the Copperas Cove City Park Pool in June 2004.
The case has been given a preferential setting, which means it will go to trial Monday unless it is resolved in some other way, District Attorney David Castillo said.
The latest trial date was in June, but 52nd District Judge Phillip Zeigler granted a motion for continuance to allow Marks’ newly appointed defense attorney additional time to prepare.
The case has been set for trial two other times, once as a jury trial and once as a bench trial.
Bryon Barnhill was first appointed as defense attorney, but after he filed a motion to be withdrawn from the case, the court appointed Anthony L. Smith of Temple to represent Marks.
After Smith was appointed as counsel, a request was granted to again set it as a trial by jury.
Castillo said in June that he did not agree with the motion for continuance, but he understood the judge’s decision.
Although the incident occurred on June 1, 2004, Marks was not arrested until the following year, so the matter has pending in the courts since March 2005, Castillo said.
“Given the length of this case, we are ready to go to trial,” he said. “... if (Zeigler) forced it to trial, I could see it be overturned by an appeals court and nobody wants to do this twice.”
According to court records, Marks, 32, was indicted in November 2004 of intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing serious bodily injury to then 32-year-old Steven Doyle by striking the man numerous times with his fist.
As a result of the assault, Doyle required surgery to reconstruct his facial bones. He also suffered a detached retina.
Marks contends, however, that he was acting in self-defense.
“I defended myself against that guy,” Marks said in a June phone interview from his Washington state home. “He verbally, racially and physically assaulted me.”
Marks said he had retired from his cage-fighting career in October 2003 because of a degenerative spinal disorder but resumed fighting after learning of his legal troubles in Texas in hopes of earning funds to hire an attorney.
“I couldn’t train properly. I ended up losing a lot of those matches,” he said.
According to an affidavit by Investigator Lori Hix of the Copperas Cove Police Department, the incident began as a verbal altercation between the two when Marks was revving the engine of his vehicle and causing the alarm on Doyle’s vehicle to go off.
Contact Joyce May at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (254) 547-0428