Representing himself, Marks argued with prosecutors over several issues, and said he needed more information for the trial. The trial timeline didn’t change.
BELTON, Texas — Cedric Marks argued for and won the right to represent himself when his trial on a capital murder charge begins. Back in October of 2021, that trial was set for April 4, 2021. It was changed to June 13 last February.
Marks entered the 426th District Court Monday for a pre-trial hearing and had several disagreements with prosecutors. This time, however, the June 13 trial date did not change.
Marks entered the room wearing a mask and spread out several documents before him. No attorney sat by his side as Judge Steve Duskie addressed him.
Marks had several issues he wanted to address. He told the Duskie he wanted to issue a subpoena to a company for some phone calls. Duskie told him he was already free to do that. Marks also said he wanted to ask for a court-appointed investigator but had put it “on the back burner.” Duskie told him that had already been discussed and there is nothing stopping him from doing that as well.
“Do what you need to do,” Duskie said.
Bell County prosecutors, on the other hand, told the judge they had simply been waiting on Marks.
Marks then started on his first contentious issue. He wanted Duskie to compel prosecutors to give him a copy of the evidence and information they found during the discovery phase. He claimed he had a right to that discovery information under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 39.
Prosecutors said pro se defendant could be shown the information but they are not required to make copies. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 39.14 (d) indicates the same:
“In the case of a pro se defendant, if the court orders the state to produce and permit the inspection of a document, item, or information under this subsection, the state shall permit the pro se defendant to inspect and review the document, item, or information but is not required to allow electronic duplication as described by Subsection (a).”
Duskie eventually denied Marks’ motion.
Marks also got into a disagreement with prosecutors over providing his fingerprints to the state. Prosecutors said Marks had only provided his palm prints and not his fingers on the two occasions that he was asked to provide prints. Marks claimed that he provided the prints correctly twice and said he didn’t want to do it again because he was worried about “a plant.” Marks did not elaborate on what that meant.
Duskie said they would need to take that issue up another day but did not change the trial date.
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