MMA fighter suspected of double murder who escaped when prison van stopped at McDonald’s is recaptured

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MMA fighter suspected of double murder who escaped when prison van stopped at McDonald’s is recaptured


Cedric Marks (Bell County Sheriff’s Office via AP)
Cedric Marks (Bell County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

An MMA fighter suspected over two murders who escaped from a prison van in Texas was recaptured less than a mile away still wearing his jail-issue orange jumpsuit, police have said.

Cedric Marks escaped from the van on Sunday morning when guards with the Texas Prisoner Transportation Service stopped at a McDonald’s in Conroe, about 40 miles north of Houston.

Two guards in the van were transporting 10 prisoners, Conroe Police Department said in a statement.

Police and the company have not commented on why the van stopped at the fast-food restaurant or how Marks escaped. Authorities have said the 44-year-old middleweight fighter was wearing leg, hand and belly restraints when he managed to flee.



Cedric Marks is captured after a nine-hour manhunt (Conroe Police Department/AP)Cedric Marks is captured after a nine-hour manhunt (Conroe Police Department/AP)

Cedric Marks is captured after a nine-hour manhunt (Conroe Police Department/AP)

No guards or other prisoners were injured in the escape, Conroe police Lieutenant Dorcy McGinnis said.

The search for Marks narrowed after surveillance video showed him near a business in Conroe, Mt McGinnis said.

He was found hiding in a waste bin in a residential neighbourhood less than a mile from the restaurant about nine hours after he escaped.

He had freed an arm and a leg from his shackles, Lt McGinnis said. She declined to say whether authorities believe Marks was able to partially free himself from the shackles or if he was improperly secured.

Texas Prisoner Transportation Service says on its website that all its transportation specialists have a minimum of two years’ experience in law enforcement, corrections or the military, and that the company treats all detainees “as maximum security”.

The company bills itself as offering “cost-effective” prisoner transportation to police in moving “the nation’s most-wanted fugitives”. It operates eight vehicles and employs 19 drivers, according to US Department of Transportation records.

Bell County Sheriff’s Department in Texas contracted the transportation service to bring Marks from Michigan, where he was arrested.

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He is being held in Bell County Jail on charges including capital murder, burglary and violating a protective order, according to online jail records. His bond was set in excess of $1.75 million.

He is suspected in the killings last month of his ex-girlfriend Jenna Scott and her friend Michael Swearingin, in the central Texas city of Temple.

Both disappeared on January 4. Their bodies were found on January 15 buried in a shallow grave in Clearview, Oklahoma.

Marks was arrested in Michigan last month over a burglary charge in Bell County, Texas, alleging he had broken into Ms Scott’s home in Temple in August. He was being transported to Bell County to face that charge when he escaped.

Marks compiled a record of 31-28-0 during his professional MMA career, which began in 1999, according to mixedmartialarts.com. His last fight was in September.

Press Association

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