TEMPLE, Texas — Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza will seek the death penalty in the case against Cedric Marks, Garza's office said Tuesday. Marks is accused of killing two Temple friends whose bodies were found in Oklahoma in January.

When Marks appeared in court in May, he said he was "absolutely not guilty" of tampering of evidence, burglary, or capital murder charges.

"I'm not guilty. I did not kill Michael Swearingin and I definitely did not kill Jenna Scott,” Marks said. "At one point I really did care about Jenna Scott when we had a relationship together. And as far as Michael Swearingin, I didn’t even know him."

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Jenna Scott, who was Marks' ex-girlfriend, and Michael Swearingin went missing on Jan. 4, 2019, according to their families and police. Police said their bodies were found in a rural Oklahoma town on Jan. 15.

Michael's mother, Deborah Harrison, said she felt the death penalty was just in this case.

"Cedric has already lived longer than Michael and Jenna," Harrison said. "There is a such thing as righteous anger and punishment. We are good, Christian people, but we feel this was the best option."

According to a medical examiner, an autopsy showed that Scott died from "homicidal violence" and Swearingin died from "strangulation."

Marks was arrested in Michigan and during his extradition to Bell County, he escaped from a private prison transport companythen led police on a 9-hour manhunt in Montgomery County. He was arrested and booked into Bell County Jail on Feb. 3.

The woman who is believed to have helped Marks in the deaths of Scott and Swearingin, Maya Maxwell, gave birth to a boy behind bars on June 4.

In a letter he sent to KCEN Channel 6, Marks said Maxwell was pregnant with his child. According to court documents, Marks is confirmed to be the father. Wade Faulkner, Maxwell's attorney, said the custody case is currently in Child Protective Services Court and Maxwell is fighting to keep her baby.

The baby was placed in foster care, the documents said.

It is unknown when Marks will appear in court next.

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