BELTON — Capital murder suspect Maya Maxwell, the mother of a child in Child Protective Services’ custody since his birth, is “continuing to fight for her rights as the mother of her child,” her criminal defense attorney, Wade Faulkner, said.
Faulkner is not the attorney for that case, he said. Maxwell’s attorney in the CPS custody case is Brittany Darby, Faulkner said.
Darby is out of her office this week and wasn’t available to comment about the Maxwell case, her office staff said.
Maxwell, 26, is in the Bell County Jail, charged with capital murder of multiple persons and tampering with evidence.
Although double-homicide suspect Cedric Marks, also jailed, firmly believes he is the father of Maxwell’s son, a DNA order has been issued but not collected yet by the representative for the Texas Attorney General’s office, Mike White, one of Marks’ attorneys, said.
Who will have custody?
White did know that Maxwell’s family at first expressed an interest in getting custody of the infant, but not since then, he said.
However, members of Marks’ family have continuously expressed an interest in getting the child, White said. White didn’t say who the family members were, but did say Marks’ brother, Otis Marks, was not interested in fostering or adopting the child.
Born June 2, Maxwell’s infant son remains in the custody of CPS, John Lennan, spokesman for the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services said Tuesday.
“The child is being temporarily cared for,” Lennan said. “At this point, the mother’s rights haven’t been terminated.”
Maxwell in 2014 gave birth to a little girl and gave her 6 pound, 9 ounce baby away to a family she’d hand-picked, according to a post she made on blogspot.com.
She was also known as Maya Rady, and wrote the post when her daughter was 8 months old, according to the blog. She claimed she was an advocate for adoption.
Marks has the custody of two sons, one from his marriage with Ginell McDonough, and one born while he was in a relationship with April Pease. Marks was in the middle of a custody battle with Pease, and Pease was given custody by a judge. However, Marks was legally given custody of their son after Pease was reported missing on March 17, 2009.
Pease filed a protective order against Marks, which was extended several times before it was dismissed, when she disappeared.
McDonough was charged in Michigan with harboring Bell County fugitives from justice — both Maxwell and Marks.
Charges against Maxwell, Marks
Maxwell and Marks each are charged with the murder of multiple persons, a capital felony, and tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.
An arrest affidavit said on Jan. 3 Maxwell helped Marks hide Temple resident Michael Swearingin’s car in Austin, helped him transport Swearingin, 32, and Jenna Scott, 28, to a residence in Killeen and stayed in the residence while Marks reportedly killed them. Maxwell’s statement said she helped Marks take the two bodies to Clearview, Okla., where he put them in a shallow grave.
Marks was also charged with burglary of a habitation with physical evidence of multiple persons and several other misdemeanor charges, all reportedly connected with Scott. Marks said he is innocent of all charges and someone else killed Scott and Swearingin, according to White. The bonds for Marks total $2,016,5000.
Maxwell, from Muskegon, Mich., remained in the Bell County Jail in lieu of bonds that totaled $750,000. Maxwell’s pretrial is scheduled July 26.