Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Katherine Magbanua Pleads Not Guilty To First Degree Murder In Killing Of Dan Markel, Trial Set For February; Prosecutors Still Hope She Will Implicate Adelsons
Tallahassee Democrat, Katherine Magbanua Pleads Not Guilty in Markel Killing:
Katherine Magbanua is not working with investigators, instead pleading not guilty and requesting a February trial date on charges of first degree murder in the shooting of Dan Markel.
Magbanua, a prime suspect in orchestrating the murder-for-hire plot of the renowned Florida State law professor, is the third person charged in his 2014 killing.
Tuesday, she sat in the same Leon County courtroom as the suspected gunman and father of two of her children Sigfredo Garcia. The two did not make eye contact save for a quick glance after the 31-year-old Magbanua entered her plea alongside her two Miami attorneys. A trial date has been set for Feb. 27. She was indicted on first-degree murder charges last week. ...
Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman said she would like to strike a deal with Magbanua similar to one made with former defendant Luis Rivera that led to her arrest.
In early October, Rivera pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 19 years in prison, which runs concurrently with an unrelated 12-year federal sentence. In his statement to police, Rivera said he Garcia and Magbanua split $100,000 in payment for killing Markel, but he was unaware of the source of the money.
At this point, Magbanua’s attorneys, Tara Kawass and Christopher M. DeCoste, are “indicating that she’s wanting to go to trial and not willing to waive her speedy trial rights at this time,” Cappleman said. That may change in the future, she added.
Cappleman said before Magbanua was arrested Oct. 1, prosecutors gave her the opportunity to tell them what she knew. She declined. But a statement from her could lead investigators to others they believe were involved in Markel’s shooting. “I would be interested in hearing a proffer from her,” Cappleman said. “I hope it could potentially implicate other co-conspirators that have not yet been indicted.” ...
At Magbanua's bond hearing Friday, Cappleman will call investigators as witnesses and lay out evidence against her. Cappleman said she will fight to keep Magbanua in jail. At the time of Markel’s killing, she was in an intimate relationship with Charlie Adelson. She is believed by police to be the link between the family and the hit men. Cappleman will have to show Circuit Judge James Hankinson there is proof and strong evidence Magbanua was involved in the crime, a higher burden than what is needed to secure a conviction.
- Above the Law, The Dan Markel Case: Why Isn’t Katherine Magbanua Cooperating?
- Daily Mail, Brother-in-Law's Ex Girlfriend Pleads NOT Guilty to Murdering FSU Law Professor Who Was Gunned Down During Ugly Divorce
- WCTV, Woman Accused in FSU Professor's Murder Pleads Not Guilty
- WFSU, Magbanua Pleads Not Guilty To First Degree Murder Charges In Markel Slaying
- WTXL, Trial Set for Woman Charged in Markel Murder
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Man Arrested In Murder Of Dan Markel (May 26, 2016)
- Dan Markel Killing Investigated As Murder for Hire, 5-6 More Arrests Expected (May 26, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (May 31, 2016)
- Police: Dan Markel Was Killed In Murder-For-Hire Plot Orchestrated By Ex-Wife's Brother (June 2, 2016)
- Anatomy Of The Hit On Dan Markel (June 4, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 6, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson Discusses Her Ex-Husband Dan Markel's Murder: Transcript And Commentary (June 8, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Law Prof Colleagues Finger Ex-Wife's Family In Murder-For-Hire Killing (June 10, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 13, 2016)
- Grand Jury Indicts Two Hit Men In Dan Markel's Murder, State Attorney Expects More Indictments; Girlfriend Of Ex-Brother-in-Law Denies Ex-Wife's Family's Involvement (June 18, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: In Defense Of Charlie Adelson (June 21, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Hit Men Thwarted In Previous Attempt To Kill FSU Law Prof (June 27, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Charlie Adelson Denies 'Any Involvement' (July 3, 2016)
- Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects (July 18, 2016)
- Today Marks Two Year Anniversary Of Dan Markel's Murder (July 18, 2016)
- The Adelson Family (Through Their Attorneys) Deny Any Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 3, 2016)
- Prosecutors Seek Records Showing Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Enhancement Surgery For Mother Of Hit Man's Children After Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 20, 2016)
- Judge In Dan Markel Murder Case Approves Subpoena To See If Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Implants For Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 23, 2016)
- Police Video Released Of Wendi Adelson Being Told Of Dan Markel's Murder, Says Her Brother Joked About Hiring A Hit Man (Aug. 27, 2016)
- FBI Interview With Ex-Girlfriend Of Dan Markel's Ex-Brother-in-Law/Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 28, 2016)
- Adelson Family Will Not Be Charged In Dan Markel's Murder Despite Circumstantial Evidence Released By Police (Including $1 Million Offer To Allow Children To Move To Miami, Communication And Money Trail To Hit Men) (Sept. 9, 2016)
- Police Reach Out To Feds As Tensions Flare With Prosecutor Over Decision Not To Charge Adelson Family In Markel Murder; Ex-Brother-in-Law Discussed Killing Undercover Agent (Sept. 10, 2016)
- ABC News To Feature Dan Markel Murder Case On Friday's 20/20 Program (Sept. 14, 2016)
- Last Night's ABC News 20/20 Program On The Dan Markel Murder: In-Laws & Outlaws (Sept. 17, 2016)
- Judge Denies Change Of Venue In Trial Of Markel's Alleged Hit Man; Defense Seeks Testimony Of Other Possible Perpetrators (Sept. 29, 2016)
- Katherine Magbanua (Mother Of Hit Man's Children, Worker In Adelson Dental Practice, Girlfriend Of Charlie Adelson) Charged With Murder of Dan Markel (Oct. 2, 2016)
- More On Katherine Magbanua's Arrest In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 3, 2016)
- Plea Deal For Hit Man In Dan Markel Murder (Oct. 4, 2016)
- Prosecutors Zero In On Adelson Family After Plea Deal With Hit Man, Arrest Of Accomplice In Markel Murder(Oct. 5, 2016)
- Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 11, 2016)
- Update: Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 12, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson's Attorney Questions Credibility Of Hit Man's Statement Implicating Ex-Wife In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 13, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Parents Discuss With Prosecutors Emergency Placement Of Their Grandchildren Upon Forthcoming Arrests Of Adelsons (Oct. 14, 2016)
- Update On Dan Markel Murder Investigation (Oct. 15, 2016)
- More Details Emerge Linking Adelson Family To Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 18, 2016)
- What Wendi Adelson's Novel Reveals About Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 19, 2016)
- The Dan Markel Murder Investigation: Why Was Katherine Magbanua's First Degree Murder Charge Reduced To Second Degree Murder? (Oct. 25, 2016)
- CrimeStoppers Reduces Reward For Tips In Dan Markel Murder Investigation From $25k To $3k (Oct. 26, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson's Novel: Art Imitating Life? (Oct. 27, 2016)
- Experts Expect Charlie And Donna Adelson To Be Charged In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 30, 2016)
- The Dan Markel Murder: Fascinating Details About The Adelson Family Dynamics (Nov. 4, 2016)
- The Dan Markel Murder Case: Who Is (Or Was) Paying The Killers' Attorneys' Fees? (Nov. 13, 2016)
- Prosecutors To Seek First Degree Murder Charge Today Against Katherine Magbanua In Grand Jury Proceedings In Dan Markel's Murder (Nov. 29, 2016)
- Grand Jury Charges Katherine Magbanua With First Degree Murder In Killing Of Dan Markel (Nov. 30, 2016)
Three possible reasons why she isn't cooperating with the prosecution: one, she really is innocent;
two, she and/or her lawyer thinks the prosecutors' case is so weak they'll never get a conviction;
Calculate the hourly for her work for the Adelson practice as verified by security cam footage (cross-checked with her time sheets from her actual employer).
Posted by: Art Deco | Dec 8, 2016 10:15:16 PM
I would go with a fourth reason. The prosecution has already told the world they need her to make a deal to testify against the Adelsons. She is holding out as a negotiation tactic. She probably wants 7 years, which amounts the same actual number of years given to Rivera when subtracting for concurrent sentencing. Prosecution is probably looking for 19 years - the actual number given to Rivera. Why would Magbanua ever settle until a minute before trial. She knows the State's Attorney is comprised of a bunch of cowards, and that they will avoid a trial at all costs.
State's Attorney should arrest the Adelsons now and take away all leverage for Magbanua. Without that leverage, Magbanua will make a deal for the 19 years before trial, which would be scheduled well ahead of any trial for the Adelsons. Now, the State has testimony and the Adelsons already in custody.
Posted by: JM | Dec 8, 2016 6:30:53 AM
Three possible reasons why she isn't cooperating with the prosecution: one, she really is innocent; two, she and/or her lawyer thinks the prosecutors' case is so weak they'll never get a conviction; or three, she has some motive we don't know about (she was either promised something in exchange for her silence or was threatened if she did speak).
Posted by: Barbara | Dec 7, 2016 3:57:34 PM
Gotta love modern day America - celebratory melting pot of multi-culti murder conspirators.
Posted by: sca721 | Dec 7, 2016 1:07:30 PM
Honestly, could the State's Attorney be any more incompetent? She literally came out on the record and said they have no case against the Adelsons without Magbanua's testimony. First of all, that isn't even true. The case against Charlie Adelson and Donna Adelson is quite strong as it is--especially know that Rivera can testify to Magbanua's role. Second, even if this is what you believed internally, why say it publicly and give Magbanua and the Adelsons all of this leverage?
This prosecution is a total debacle.
Posted by: JM | Dec 7, 2016 12:07:52 PM
"Cappleman will have to show Circuit Judge James Hankinson there is proof and strong evidence Magbanua was involved in the crime, a higher burden than what is needed to secure a conviction."
That's the burden for bond when awaiting trial for murder in Florida? Interesting.
Posted by: Diogenes | Dec 9, 2016 5:38:45 PM