TEMPLE — The complete autopsy report for one of two Jan. 3 homicide victims from Temple seems to indicate he may have fought hard against his killer.
The Chief Medical Examiner’s office in Oklahoma City still listed the cause of death of 32-year-old Michael Swearingin of Temple as asphyxia by strangulation and called it a homicide.
However, Swearingin had various contusions, cuts and abrasions on his hands, arms, legs and face that didn’t cause his death, the report said.
No toxicology report was attached, although the autopsy report indicated there was one.
The final autopsy report for 28-year-old Jenna Scott, the other Temple homicide victim, wasn’t released by press time Tuesday.
Cedric Marks, 44, of Killeen, was indicted on charges of capital murder of multiple persons in connection with both deaths.
Representing Marks in all his criminal cases is Temple attorney Michael White. White said Marks will plead not guilty on all charges.
An autopsy summary released last week said Scott died from homicidal violence but wasn’t more specific. It said she had other conditions that contributed to her death that weren’t a result of the underlying cause.
Marks reportedly killed the friends Jan. 3 at a Killeen residence, transported them to Clearview, Okla., and buried them in a shallow grave on abandoned property, an arrest affidavit said.
The bodies were discovered Jan. 14 after Marks’ girlfriend, Maya Maxwell, 26, of Muskegon, Mich., admitted to Temple Police investigators that she drove Swearingin’s car to Austin to hide it there. Maxwell told police she was in the residence with Marks when he reportedly killed Swearingin and Scott. She was with him on the trip to Oklahoma and was there when the bodies were buried, Maxwell said.
Wife’s alleged involvement
Marks and Maxwell reportedly were found hiding from law enforcement officers in the Michigan home of Ginell McDonough, Marks’ wife. McDonough was charged with harboring a fugitive/obstructing justice.
McDonough’s first pretrial hearing was held Tuesday with Judge Annette Smedley of the 14th Circuit Court of Muskegon County, Mich., presiding.
The prosecutor’s office said McDonough’s attorney, Joshua EldenBrady, is attempting to get her felony reduced to a misdemeanor charge.
McDonough originally was held in the Muskegon County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail, but a district judge reduced her bail to $10,000 cash or surety bond. After her release, McDonough was required to wear a GPS monitor.
No info available on escape
Marks wasn’t officially named as a capital murder suspect until he escaped from a prisoner transport company bringing him from Michigan to Texas. Once he escaped from being brought back for a burglary of a habitation charge with intent to commit other felony at Scott’s home on Aug. 21, 2018, the Temple Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for capital murder.
After a 9-hour manhunt by multiple law enforcement agencies, Marks was recaptured in Conroe. As of Tuesday, no charge for his escape has been listed against Marks by either the Conroe Police Department or Montgomery County Sheriff’s office.
It has not been revealed how Marks escaped from the company’s transport van or if anyone will be charged with his escape.
Charges and indictments
Maxwell, who is pregnant, was indicted along with Marks for the double homicide.
Marks is a former mixed martial arts fighter and trainer who was employed at Title Boxing Club in Killeen.
In addition to the capital murder and burglary charge, Marks remained Tuesday in the Bell County Jail with bonds that totaled $2,016,500. He also is charged with tampering/fabricating physical evidence with intent to impair, interfering with emergency call, false report to police officer and violation of a protective order with bias/prejudice.
Maxwell remained jailed Tuesday with bonds that totaled $750,000 for the capital murder of multiple persons and tamper/fabricate physical evidence with intent to impair.
Maxwell is represented by Wade Faulkner, a Salado attorney, Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said Tuesday.