Day Six: State Notes Influx Of Cash In Accounts Of Accused Markel Defendants

Oct 4, 2019

A Leon County jury heard testimony about cell phone calls and bank records as the murder trial for a slain Florida State University law professor continued on its 6th day. 

Katherine Magbanua speaking to her attorney Tara Kawass Thursday, Sept. 27, 2019, in Tallahassee, Florida, during the murder trial for Markel's death.
Credit Alicia Devine, Pool / Tallahassee Democrat

State witnesses say text messages between the people accused of the murder and those alleged to have planned it were deleted in the days after Dan Markel was killed in 2014. A state financial crimes analyst notes banking activity in the accounts of Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera also changed. Rivera was prone to frequent overdrafts and usually withdrew cash after money was deposited. In the months following Markel’s death, the overdrafts slowed for several months.

“After the change he had very little cash withdraws and no overdraft payments. He left his paychecks in there to pay his automated charges. But that only lasted a couple of months," said financial crimes investigator Mary Hull.

She suggests that change in pattern indicates Rivera had another cash source.

The analyst also testified that within four months of the murder, Sigfredo Garcia bought two cars and a motorcycle, with one of the vehicles being purchased just days after Markel was killed.  Garcia is the alleged triggerman. His ex-girlfriend and co-defendant, Katherine Magbanua is the alleged go-between for Rivera and Garcia, and Markel’s former in-laws, the Adelson's. They're accused of paying for Markel to be killed.

Rivera has said Garcia was the one who shot Markel. Magbanua is Markel's former brother-in-law's ex-girlfrend and has children with Garcia.