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A jury is seated and witnesses named as the retrial of Katherine Magbanua begins

Katherine Magbanua chained together as she prepares to take a seat in a courtroom inside of Leon County Courthouse.
Alicia Devine, Pool
Tallahassee Democrat

Fourteen people have been chosen to serve on the jury in the retrial of Katherine Magbanua. Prosecutors accuse her of being the go-between for the hitmen who killed FSU law professor Dan Markel and the person suspected of hiring them. The trial begins this week.

The jury is made up of seven men and seven women. Two of those people are alternates.

Magbanua was tried in 2019 alongside her former partner and convicted shooter, Sigfredo Garcia. Garcia is serving a life sentence for murder. But the jury couldn’t reach a decision on Magbanua, resulting in a mistrial. The other convicted gunman, Luis Rivera, is Garcia’s childhood friend.

Since then, the brother of Markel’s ex-wife, Charlie Adelson has been arrested. Prosecutors allege he paid for and mastermind Markel’s killing as the former law professor and his ex-wife Wendi Adelson fought over custody of their two children. Charlie Adelson and Magbanua previously dated.

The state is planning to call on Wendi Adelson to testify again in the case. The first time around, she was granted immunity. Wendi’s former boyfriend will also be called to testify again, and so will convicted shooters, Garcia and Rivera. Rivera is expected to testify for prosecutors, while Magbanua’s defense attorneys plan to call Garcia, who is also the father of her children.

The trial is expected to last for about two weeks. Markel was shot and killed in 2014 while in his car, parked at his Betton Hills home.

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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