DAN MARKEL: Florida v Katherine Magbanua and Sigfredo Garcia in murder-for-hire


Leon Circuit Judge James C. Hankinson set an April 13 trial date for Katherine Magbanua, whose charges in the murder of Florida State law professor Dan Markel ended in mistrial earlier this month.

Magbanua, wearing a blue Leon County Detention Center jumpsuit, appeared in the courtroom with her attorneys, Chris DeCoste and Tara Kawass. Hankinson asked about her legal representation moving forward; DeCoste said he and Kawass intend to continue defending her.



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Petition urges State Attorney to charge Adelsons in Dan Markel murder

A petition urging State Attorney Jack Campbell to bring murder charges against the former in-laws of slain Florida State Law professor Dan Markel quickly gathered signatures when it was released Monday.

By Tuesday morning, more than 500 people had lent their signatures to the petition from Justice for Dan, a group advocating justice for Markel started by his friend, attorney and former law professor Jason Solomon.

The petition calls for charges to be brought against the family members of Markel’s ex-wife who prosecutors contend are the masterminds behind his July 2014 murder-for-hire. Wendi Adelson’s brother and mother, Charlie and Donna Adelson, have been implicated but not arrested in connection with Markel’s broad daylight shooting.

In November, a Miami man, Sigfredo Garcia, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison as the trigger man who shot Markel.

Garcia’s on-again, off-again girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua, will again face a jury after jurors in a 10-2 vote deadlocked on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder against her in a joint trial with Garcia. She is accused of being the conduit between the killers and the Adelson family. She dated Charlie Adelson and worked at the family’s Tamarac dental office.



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Retrial in Dan Markel murder case delayed until 2021

A woman accused in the murder for hire of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel won’t go to trial until 2021.

Katherine Magbanua’s last trial ended in a mistrial, and her retrial was postponed after COVID-19 forced the courts to halt jury trials.

A judge said during a Zoom hearing Thursday that given the pandemic and the number of jurors needed, Magbanua’s trial won’t happen until next year.

Magbanua’s defense team told the judge they’ll ask the courts to release Magbanua on bond or house arrest until then. That motion has not yet been filed and a hearing date has not yet been set.

Magbanua's next court date is set for December 3, 2020.

The judge says if her attorneys file a motion to review her custody status, "We'll get that on a docket ... pronto."


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Lawyer for suspect in Markel murder case pushes for client's pre-trial release

The woman accused of orchestrating the murder of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel is once again asking for her freedom as she awaits her next trial nearly a year after a jury was unable to make a decision on her fate.

Now, they're asking for her to be released until her new trial date.

The release would include GPS monitoring but would allow her to return home to Miami.

A 31-page court document calling for the release states, "there is no evidence that Magbanua is a flight risk."

Magbanua's next hearing is on Dec. 3. That's when a trial date is expected to be set.

The State Attorney's Office now has 30 days to respond to the request.


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Apparently this was yesterday. Anyone catch it?

Dateline NBC to air new segment on Dan Markel murder case​

The ongoing saga of the case of murdered Florida State law professor Dan Markel moves into the spotlight again this week when Dateline NBC airs a new segment on the case this Thursday at 9 p.m.

A live discussion will be hosted on the ‘Justice for Dan’ Facebook page while the segment airs.


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A Leon County judge has denied Katherine Magbanua's second motion for pretrial release.

Judge Robert Wheeler submitted a three-page order Friday, saying "the proof is evident or the presumption is great as to the defendant's guilt for first-degree murder." Magbanua's lawyers filed the motion, reasoning that since her last case was declared mistrial, and the coronavirus pandemic risks her health, is grounds for a pretrial release.

The judge said "Magbanua's continued detainment at the Leon County Detention Facility poses a great danger to her health in light of the COVID-19 pandemic is irrelevant to the proof or presumption for bond consideration or pre-trial release."

Magbanua has been in jail since 2016. She will be back in court for a case management hearing December third.


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Katherine Magbanua, a suspect in the murder of FSU Law professor Dan Markel, will remain in jail to await trial.

Appeals court judges in Tallahassee on Thursday explained their denial of a request by accused Dan Markel murder suspect Katherine Magbanua to be released on bail.

In a 9-page opinion, 1st District Court of Appeal judges Lori Rowe, Joseph Lewis and Ross Bilbrey bolstered their December decision for Magbanua to continue to be held in the Leon County Detention Facility until trial.


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New trial date set for Katherine Magbanua​

Katherine Magbanua is now set to stand trial in October for the murder of FSU professor Dan Markel.

A judge set a trial date for October 4, 2021. That trial is scheduled to last two weeks.


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Magbanua defense team pushes to delay trial, citing rising COVID-19 cases​

Katherine Magbanua’s defense team raised COVID-19 concerns, asking to delay her trial in a Wednesday afternoon case management hearing.

The hearing lasted just over an hour, with discussions on jury selection, discovery and evidence procedures and deadlines, and the date of the trial.

Magbanua’s defense attorneys, Christopher DeCoste and Tara Kawass, say current COVID-19 case numbers are concerning. Both are cancer survivors and immunocompromised.

During the hearing, they added that Magbanua had tested positive for COVID-19 ten days prior, but negative Wednesday morning.

They added that socially distancing from her during trial could unintentionally sway the jury.

DeCoste and Kawass said they want to try the case but emphasize they want to do it safely.

“I trust that this court, this judge, is going to evaluate all the factors and make the right decision. Of course, the concerns go beyond our medical conditions on the defense, it’s the people of Tallahassee and the state of Florida. But at what point are we the band on the Titanic going down and still playing?” DeCoste questioned.


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Dan Markel murder: Magbanua attorneys look to disqualify prosecutors over evidence exhibits​

Attorneys for Katherine Magbanua are seeking to disqualify prosecutors, who allege she was involved in the plot to kill Dan Markel, saying they intentionally provided the jury misleading evidence and left out information that was exculpatory during her first trial.

Less than a month before Magabnua goes back on trial for first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder, her Miami attorneys are asking a judge to oust the State Attorney’s Office from her prosecution.

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