Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Will Katherine Magbanua Get 'Unusual' Reduction In Life Sentence For Flipping On Charlie Adelson In Dan Markel Murder Case?

Following up on last week's post, The Dan Markel Murder Case: Katie Magbanua Flips On Charlie Adelson:  Tallahassee Democrat, Could Katherine Magbanua Get an 'Unusual' Deal in Dan Markel Murder Case? Attorneys Weigh In.:

Magbanua AdelsonKatherine Magbanua’s agreement to talk to prosecutors as a state witness after being convicted of Dan Markel’s murder has Tallahassee-area attorneys scratching their heads as to what bearing her cooperation could have on her life sentence.

Magbanua was ordered Wednesday to return to Tallahassee in late November to give a proffer statement during a closed-door meeting with prosecutors at the courthouse. She was found guilty of first-degree murder and other charges during her May trial and sentenced over the summer.

The move comes in the run-up to the murder trial early next year of Charlie Adelson, Markel's ex brother-in-law, Magbanua's one-time boyfriend and the alleged mastermind behind the murder-for-hire plot.

Exactly what she could divulge and whether she will testify against Adelson are just as unclear as whether her life sentence could be reduced for her cooperation.

“This is out there,” said appellate attorney and former 1st District Court of Appeal judge Philip Padovano. “I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is unusual to say the least. I’ve never seen it.” ...

Padovano said a possible path to reducing Magbanua’s sentence could lie in vacating her conviction and life sentence then offering her another plea agreement where there could be more discretion over prison time. Outside of that, there are few options.

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