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Day Eight: Magbanua's Attorney's Try To Separate Her From Garcia, Markel Murder

Katherine Magbanua listens to testimony in the murder trial for FSU Professor Dan Markel. She's facing life in prison if convicted in the case. (October 3,2019)
Alicia Devine
Tallahassee Democrat (pool)

Defense attorneys are picking apart the state’s evidence in the trial for the two people accused of murdering Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel in 2014.  The attorney for one of the defendants says say their client wasn't involved, and that the state has unfairly cherry-picked evidence in the case.

The state has rolled out recoded phone calls that it claims show a web of communication between the people accused of murdering Markel—Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua-- and his former in-laws, Charlie and Donna Adelson. But Magbanua’s attorney says she had nothing to do with the killing.  The attorney says Magbanua says she was the only person who wanted to go to the FBI after Donna Adelson received a flier from an undercover FBI agent with Markel’s face on it and a phone number.

“Katherine is arguing with Charles Adelson [on the call] saying, ‘whoever it is threatening your family’ helping you out…not—‘this guy is on to us for a murder," the attorney said. 

The witness in the case says that's not how agents interpreted the call.

Magbanua was dating Charlie Adelson at the time of Markel’s death. The state accuses her of being the go-between for the Adelson family and her ex-boyfriend and alleged shooter Sigfredo Garcia. The two are being tried together. No members of the Adelson family have been charged in the case. 

Follow @HatterLynn

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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