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Delayed Trial for Markel Murder Suspects

Florida State University Dan Markel
Florida State University College of Law

The trial for two suspects accused of the murder of Dan Markel has been delayed again. Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua will return to court on Nov. 19 for a case management hearing.

The case concerning the murder of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel will continue. Magbanua’s Attorney Tara Kawass needs medical attention and is not able to travel.

Markel was murdered on July 18, 2014 in his Betton Hills home in Tallahassee. The murder occurred after a vicious divorce between he and ex-wife Wendi Adelson. During a 2016 press conference, the Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo outlined what investigators believed to be a murder-for-hire and listed Luis Rivera and Sigfredo Garcia as suspects. However, no Adelson family members have been arrested.

“I would say there’s certainly a good information indication since there’s no known relationship between Mr. Rivera or Mr. Garcia and Professor Markel and obviously, it was not a random act that they came up here, for him, said Deleo."

Rivera cut a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to second-degree murder. He received seven additional years in prison, on top of a 12-year federal sentence for unrelated charges. Rivera said Magbanua was the director of the hit and Garcia was the shooter.

Magbanua was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder shortly after Garcia’s arrest. Law enforcement officials believe she is the conduit between Garcia, Rivera and the Adelson family. Magbanua and Garcia share two children and she once had a personal relationship with Charlie Adelson, the brother of Wendi Adelson. Tallahassee Police Investigator Craig Isom outlined the connections during Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman’s questioning two years ago.

“Garcia contacted Magbanua and the conversation was, ‘It’s done.’ We also learned that Charlie Adelson had a relationship with Katherine Magbanua," said Isom.

When the trial begins, Garcia and Magbanua will be tried together.

Jade Jacobs is a fourth year broadcast journalism student at Florida A&M University. Before interning at WFSU, Jade worked at Antioch Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church as a media intern in Dallas, Texas. She has also served as a live shot reporter on FAMU TV News 20, a writer for the FAMUAN and Journey Magazine and a radio personality on WANM 90.5 The Flava Station's Saturday Morning Show. After graduation, she plans to continue to work in the journalism field as a news reporter. She enjoys shopping, inspirational quotes and traveling.