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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Judge Denies Bond For Katherine Magbanua, Charged With First Degree Murder In Killing Of Dan Markel

MagnaubaTallahassee Democrat, Judge Denies Bond For Katherine Magbanua, One of Three Charged With FSU Law Professor Dan Markel's Murder:

Katherine Magbanua will remain in jail, for now.

At a day-long Friday bond hearing, prosecutors fought to keep the 31-year-old mother of two, believed to a key orchestrator in the shooting of Florida State law professor Dan Markel, in jail until her Feb. 27 trial.

Leon Circuit Judge James Hankinson sided with them, denying Magbanua’s motion for pretrial release.

The third person charged in Markel’s death, Magbanua sat quietly, whispering with her Miami attorneys, Christopher DeCoste and Tara Kawass, while her brother Erik Magbanua, who testified Friday, sat in the courtroom. ...

A mountain of evidence in the murder case was presented at the hearing.

DeCoste spent his time questioning Tallahassee Police homicide investigator Craig Isom, picking apart what he called a “well-rehearsed” statement by Luis Rivera, who pleaded to second-degree murder in October. Rivera's statement to police led to Magbanua’s arrest. ...

Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman presented most of the evidence in the case Friday, including wire-tapped phone conversations, financial records, the movements of the Prius before, during and after the shooting and a photo of Markel bloodied and bruised by two gunshots to the face.

Cappleman said Rivera’s statement was based on what he learned from Garcia, including who hired them to commit murder and why. “It was always clear to (Rivera) that Katie was the link to the Adelsons,” Cappleman said in court. “Katie was the one who was hiring them to come to Tallahassee and commit the murder on behalf of Wendi so she could have the children all to herself.”

But Cappleman said although parts of Rivera’s statement could not or had not yet been verified, his comments linking Magbanua to Markel’s shooting were consistent with other evidence. “The main thing that he says, that we were hired by Katie on behalf of the Adelsons to come here and do this killing, makes perfect sense with all the other evidence in this case,” Cappleman said. “Yes (Rivera’s) a bad guy that got a good deal. The case against her is solid.”

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/12/judge-denies-bond-for-katherine-magbanua-charged-with-first-degree-murder-in-killing-of-dan-markel.html

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Comments

"A mountain of evidence in the murder case was presented at the hearing."

It's all circumstantial. Rivera's just a thug. The Adelson's had nothing to do with this. Magbanua is obviously innocent. The whole thing's just a bad coincidence. That she's in jail is a travesty.

Posted by: yippee | Dec 11, 2016 2:06:29 AM

Magbanua's attorneys are "shocked" that the judge denied their request to release her on bond (how often are defendants indicted on first-degree murder charges released before their trial?) and seem to be fixated with Luis Rivera's testimony, ignoring the other evidence against their client. How does a single mom working as a receptionist make cash deposits of $56,000 in a short period of time? Why would a dental clinic make out paycheques to someone who has never been employed by the clinic?

Posted by: Barbara | Dec 11, 2016 6:02:24 AM

There's also the witness who saw Magbanua deliver a brick of cash.
We still have never heard another theory regarding why these two guys would've committed the murder. I doubt one can be invented that sounds realistic.

Posted by: Potluck | Dec 11, 2016 8:18:41 AM

"How does a single mom working as a receptionist make cash deposits of $56,000 in a short period of time? Why would a dental clinic make out paycheques to someone who has never been employed by the clinic?"

Funny questions for a tax blog. CI North Florida, are you following along?

Posted by: Diogenes | Dec 12, 2016 4:46:45 AM

Best laugh of the day, likely from a Hillary voter in denial:

"It's all circumstantial. Rivera's just a thug. The Adelson's had nothing to do with this. Magbanua is obviously innocent. The whole thing's just a bad coincidence. That she's in jail is a travesty."

BTW, the apostrophe in Adelson's is incorrect usage. Hope not the post of a "professor."

Posted by: Diogenes | Dec 12, 2016 4:49:28 AM

What a waste of a breast augmentation.

Posted by: Laz | Dec 12, 2016 7:17:22 AM

Judge says NO Bond. She's a "flight risk".

With Magbanua's and Garcia's witness intimidation I'd say they've been much more than just a flight risk.

Thumbs up to this judge.

Posted by: John Smith | Dec 12, 2016 11:55:01 AM

Diogenes, it's called sarcasm.

Posted by: Duh | Dec 12, 2016 1:20:29 PM

https://www.christopherdecoste.com/About_the_Attorneys/Christopher_M_DeCoste.aspx

Her lawyer knows how to blow his own horn. His co-counsel appears to be in partnership with her sister but of counsel at his firm.

Someone associated with web sleuths attending the hearing said that advocate Cappleman was explicit that Wendi Adelson hired KM.

Posted by: Art Deco | Dec 13, 2016 9:45:23 AM

Garcia's lawyers were supposed to make an appearance on 6 December to hash out a trial date. Have seen nothing on this.

Posted by: Art Deco | Dec 13, 2016 9:46:29 AM