Killeen resident Cedric Joseph Marks, who has been charged with capital murder in the deaths of Jenna Scott and Michael Swearingin, is no stranger to the headlines.
A former mixed martial arts fighter, Marks was a known fitness expert in the area, and has been employed at both Title Boxing in Killeen and Tiger Lim’s Martial Arts in Copperas Cove, as well as EJK Boxing & Fitness Club.
He fought as recently as September, according to Tapology, a website for MMA and combat sports. The site has Marks ranked No. 422 in the nation, with a record of 31-27
However, it is Marks’ arrest records that have been brought to light with the recent charges surrounding Scott and Swearingen.
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 fists.
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, which caused the alarm on Doyle’s vehicle to go off.
As a result of the fight, Doyle required surgery to reconstruct his facial bones. He also suffered a detached retina.
Marks admitted to being involved in the altercation, but claimed he acted in self-defense.
“I defended myself against that guy,” Marks said in a 2007 phone interview from his Washington state home. “He verbally, racially and physically assaulted me.”
He was found not guilty and released after Doyle’s account of the incident in court did not match his initial report.
Reports from Tulsa County, Oklahoma, show Marks had felony charges dating back to 1992 for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and attempted escape.
Those charges were dismissed, but records show Marks pleaded guilty to an attempted robbery with a firearm charge on a separate incident that same year.
Marks served six years in an Oklahoma prison after his guilty plea and was released on Nov. 23, 1998, according to court documents.
He is now being held in the Bell County Jail on charges of capital murder.
Marks, who fought under the nickname Cedric “The Spiderman” Marks taught boxing classes at EJK and Title Boxing, as well as teaching self defense and martial arts.
Marks was the head trainer at Title Boxing Club in Killeen, leading boot camps and teaching a monthly Woman’s Assault Prevention Program aimed at showing women and girls how to recognize, prevent and escape an assault.
He told the Herald in 2014 that boxing is beneficial to everyone.
“It’s low impact, a great overall workout and (leads to) big weight loss,” Marks said.
The current case
According to a temporary protective order filed in July by Scott, she and Marks had been in a dating relationship that began in August 2015. The order said Marks “represents a credible threat to the physical safety of Jenna Kay Scott and her family members and pets.”
Marks was arrested on Aug. 15, charged with violating the protective order. He posted a $10,000 bond the following day.
He then reportedly broke in to Scott’s home on Aug. 21.
A warrant for this charge was issued Nov. 9, and he was arrested in January in Michigan.
In a phone conversation before he was arrested, Marks told an area news station that Scott’s disappearance was sad but that he had nothing to do with it.
“Not only do I have no history of violence towards women or children, I teach free women’s assault programs or did before I went on the run away from her,” Marks told KCEN.
Not the first disappearance
Police in Bloomington, Minnesota, said Marks is a person of interest in the 2009 disappearance of April Pease, the mother of one of his children, who had accused him of domestic violence.
According to reports, Pease was last seen in Bloomington on March 17, 2009, and has not been heard from or found since. She had moved to Minnesota months before her disappearance, reportedly to get treatment for her addiction and to get away from Marks, although he was not considered a suspect at the time.
“April Pease was reported missing to our agency in September of 2009,” said Bloomington Deputy Chief of Police Mike Hartley. “The case has been open since that time, and all leads actively investigated. We are aware of the developments in Texas regarding another missing person’s case, and have been in contact with local law enforcement in that jurisdiction.”
Peace was involved in a custody dispute with Marks at the time of her disappearance. When she failed to show up for court about the custody issue on March 20, three days after her disappearance, Marks reportedly told officials he thought she had relapsed. He was awarded custody of their son, who is now 13 years old, and had been living with Marks until recently.
Other Court cases
The only Texas convictions Marks has are for disorderly conduct — a Class C misdemeanor — and unlawful carrying of a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor, in 2001.
He pleaded not guilty to the Class C offense, and was only fined and required to pay court costs.
Marks pleaded guilty in June 1999 to the unlawful carrying of a weapon and was sentenced to one year in jail and two years probation. That charge was out of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
He had charges and convictions in other states, but many were dismissed with no explanations:
• Phone harassment in Seattle, Wash.
• Criminal assault in Tacoma, Wash.
• Fugitive warrant in Kent County, Mich.
• Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Tulsa, Okla.
• Robbery with firearm in Tulsa County, Okla.
• Robbery attempt with dangerous weapon, Tulsa County.
• Robbery with firearm in Tulsa County.
• Attempted escape, Tulsa County.
His convictions include:
• Phone harassment in September 2008 in Seattle, Wash.
• Robbery (violent), 15 years, Tulsa County.
Personal life, connections
Marks’ previous residences in Texas included several in Killeen, several on Fort Hood and Copperas Cove.
He’s lived in other states, too, including California, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, Missouri and Washington.
When he was arrested, Marks reportedly was hiding in the Michigan home of his wife, Ginell McDonough, 37, who is the mother of another of Marks’ sons. Marks married McDonough in 2002, but married another woman in 2009 in Illinois. That woman filed for divorce after she found out he was already married, but Marks never signed the paperwork, court documents showed. Documents also indicated a paternity test was ordered for a child.