Paul L. Caron

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Attorneys For Dan Markel Murder Suspect Katherine Magbanua Seek Pretrial Release From Prison

Tallahassee Democrat, Attorneys for Magbanua Continue Pursuit of Pretrial Release in Dan Markel Murder Case:

MagnaubaThe attorneys for Dan Markel murder suspect Katherine Magbanua are again making their case to have their client released from jail on bond.

They cite the October mistrial in which a jury did not convict her on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder or solicitation to commit first-degree murder, a lesser burden than the one required to consider whether bond is appropriate.

In the 31-page filing earlier this week, Magbanua’s attorneys Chris DeCoste and Tara Kawass ask that she be released from the Leon County Detention Facility while she awaits a trial date, which is not likely until 2021. A case management conference has been set for December. ...

"The state’s case here rested ‘almost entirely’ on the statement of Mr. Rivera," Magbanua's attorneys wrote. "It was the only piece of evidence directly implicating Ms. Magbanua… (and was) also substantially contradictory to other evidence presented at trial."

Their client was offered immunity in exchange for testimony against the Adelson family, which she did not give, even just days before the trial when she met with Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman and State Attorney’s Office Investigator Jason Newlin. In television interviews, Cappleman alluded to the role Magbanua could play in her own release from jail.

“Although no offer of immunity was requested, Ms. Cappleman agreed that Ms. Magbanua would receive immunity in exchange for the interview,” attorneys wrote. “Ms. Magbanua willingly spoke to the SAO prior to her trial and answered their questions. Although Ms. Magbanua essentially ‘holds the key to her own freedom,’ she still remains incarcerated.”

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