Paul L. Caron
Dean


Friday, September 20, 2019

In Advance Of Monday's Jury Selection In Dan Markel Murder Case, Magbanua Seeks Separate Trial

WCTV, Magbanua Now Asking For Separate Trial in Markel Murder:

MarkelJust days before the Dan Markel murder case goes to trial, one of the defendants is now asking for her case to be tried separately.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Monday for both Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua.

Magbanua's attorneys just filed a motion asking for a separate trial at a later date.

Her attorneys contend there is evidence that is admissible in Magbanua's case, that is not admissible against Garcia and is "overly prejudicial to him." According to the motion, that includes Garcia's previous criminal history and statements he made to fellow jail inmates that "tend to implicate Ms. Magbanua."

Garcia is facing the death penalty in this case. Magbanua is not.

Magbanua's attorneys argue in the motion that "subjecting her to trial with a death-qualified jury" would violate her due process rights.

They claim it would unfairly exclude African-Americans from the jury. "Research has consistently shown that African-Americans are more likely to oppose the death penalty than white persons," Magbanua's attorneys argued in the motion, citing a series of studies.

Law.com, Two Accused in FSU Law Professor Slaying Set to Face Jury:

Jury selection is slated to begin Monday in a Tallahassee court in the case against Sigfredo Garcia—who stands accused of pulling the trigger and murdering Markel—and Katherine Magbanua, the mother of Garcia’s children and ex-girlfriend of Markel’s former brother-in-law Charlie Adelson. The defendants are being tried together on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder. ...

[F]or close watchers of the case, several big questions remain: First, they wonder whether the trial will come to fruition, or whether Magbanua will take a plea deal at the last minute and cooperate with the prosecution to implicate Donna and Charlie Adelson—neither of whom have been charged with any crime. Police arrested Magbanua in 2016 and she has spent the past three years in jail—away from her two children—apparently in an attempt to get her to flip and help prosecutors.

Second, they want to know whether Garcia and Magbanua’s trial is the next step toward indictments of Donna and Charlie Adelson—which Markel’s supporters view as the ultimate goal and the only way for justice to be served.

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/09/in-advance-of-mondays-trial-of-dan-markel-murder-suspects-magbanua-seeks-separate-trial.html

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Comments

Your chum David Lat offered he wouldn't believe there would be a trial until the jury was seated. The smart money bets on another continuance. Forget it jake, it's Floriduh.

Posted by: Art Deco | Sep 20, 2019 6:31:58 AM

Article says that the prosecution does not intend to call Charlie Adelson to testify. What about his dozens of phone calls to Magbanua on the morning of the murder? Are those not relevant? What is the jury to make of the fact that the State won't even call Charlie to testify? They should put him on the stand and have him plead the 5th so they can draw a negative inference. Now the negative inference will be against the State.

I am not sure what the bigger scandal is, the murder, or the prosecution's absolute cowardice and incompetence.

Posted by: JM | Sep 20, 2019 7:42:39 AM

Patience JM ...

When one doesn't have enough evidence; or the type of evidence wanted/needed, to pursue others perhaps involved …. first things first. Go after those directly involved (responsible for the physical crime) first. Put death penalty on the table for at least one. When convicted …. bargain for the death sentence to be taken off the table. And, watch the truth unfold.

Posted by: Mel | Sep 25, 2019 4:37:21 PM