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Suspect Pleads Guilty As Part of Deal In Markel Case

Florida State University Dan Markel
Florida State University College of Law

The State Attorney’s office has reached a plea deal with one of the suspects in the murder of a Florida State University law professor.  Luis Rivera was supposed to go before a judge Tuesday morning but the hearing was delayed as the deal was finalized.

When the hearing resumed Tuesday afternoon Luis Rivera entered a guilty plea, in exchange for a 19 year prison sentence. He has also agreed to testify as part of the deal. Rivera is one of three suspects arrested so far in the 2014 murder of Florida State University Dan Markel.  Rivera's partner, Sigfredo Garcia and Garcia's former girlfriend Katherine Magbanua are also facing murder charges.

According to the probable cause affadavit, Magbanua was dating Markel’s brother-in-law Charles Adelson at the time of Markel's death. Markel had sought to limit interactions between his children and his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson’s, family. Investigators have described the event as a murder-for-hire. So far no members of the Adelson family have been arrested or charged.

WCTV reports prosecutor Georgia Cappleman says Rivera  provided the gun and drove the Prius seen leaving the scene of the crime while Garcia pulled the trigger.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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