A former MMA fighter has been charged with killing his ex-girlfriend 11 years ago in Minnesota following a confession from his current wife.
Cedric Joseph Marks, 45, and Kellee Kristine Sorensen, 34, were both charged with second-degree murder on Tuesday in the death of April Pease, the mother of his son. The charges were filed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office in Minnesota.
Police said Marks killed Pease to get custody of his son.
Marks, an MMA fighter with a 31-27-1 record who hadn’t fought since 2018, became a person of interest in the cold case after being arrested on an unrelated murder charge last year in Texas.
Cedric Joseph Marks, 45, is a former MMA fighter who is accused of killing the mother of his son, and in a separate incident, a former girlfriend and her boyfriend
Marks escaped custody in February when police transporting him to jail stopped at a McDonald’s in Houston
Kellee Sorensen was also arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection Pease’s death
A police report from 2009 shows that Marks physically abused Pease, while they lived in Washington state. Pease then picked up and moved to a battered women’s shelter with her then four-year-old son.
After Marks found Pease at the shelter, she moved out of state to Minnesota.
When Sorenson was arrested in March 2019, she told police she helped Marks track Pease down to another women’s shelter in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Once the two arrived, they saw Pease getting out of her car. Then Marks approached her, punched her in the face and dragged her into his car, authorities said.
April Pease, the mother of Marks’s son, was said to have had her teeth removed and hands chopped off by Marks to prevent her from being identified
After the alleged beating, Sorenson escorted the four-year-old back to the shelter.
The two then drove to another area, where Marks took Pease out of the car and put her into a chokehold, police said. He and Sorensen allegedly left her body for dead.
After returning to the scene where he allegedly killed Pease, Marks removed her teeth and cut off her hands so no one could identify the body, police said.
Pease’s body was never recovered.
‘Our thoughts are with her family as they reflect back on the 11 painful years since she went missing,’ read a statement from Bloomington Police.
The statement continued, ‘We would like to thank all the local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that assisted with this homicide case that spanned over four different states.’
Marks’ current wife, Ginell McDonough, confessed to police that Marks killed Pease to get custody of his son. McDonough recalls watching a CD that Marks made for his son to watch on his 18th birthday.
In the video, Marks says he was ‘about to go and do something that could either get him locked away for the rest of his life or get him killed,’ the police report read.
In August 2019, police say he broke into the Temple, Texas home of another ex-girlfriend named Jenna Scott and threatened her. By this January, Scott and her friend Michael Swearingin had come up missing.
Their bodies were found two weeks later in Oklahoma.
Following claims of physical abuse, Scott in July had filed a protective order against Marks, according to KCEN. She said he bragged about being able to get away with murder.
‘I believe he is a pathological liar. I believe he is a psychopath,’ Scott said in a document filed to the Bell County court, KCEN reported.
The Associated Press reported that her protective order was denied.
Marks was initially picked up in Michigan on an outstanding burglary warrant for the break-in. He was later extradited back to Bell County, Texas on suspicion of the double murder of Scott and Swearingin.
While police from Conroe, Texas were transporting Marks to jail in connection with the burglary, they stopped at a McDonald’s in Houston, where Marks escaped custody.
While he was on the run, police issued murder warrants.
After a nine-hour manhunt, police found Marks in a 55-gallon trash bin, according to the Washington Post.
Marks is in custody in Texas, and Sorensen is being held in Washington state.