Tallahassee Democrat, 'Prosecutorial Desperation' or a Nefarious Nexus: Two Takes on Katherine Magbanua's Retrial:
For six years prosecutors have alleged that Katherine Magbanua was the link between Dan Markel’s estranged in-laws and the two killers who brutally murdered him in his Betton Hills garage.
They’ve said she helped hire the father of her two kids, convicted gunman Sigfredo Garcia and his childhood friend Luis Rivera, coordinated payment of $100,000 for the hit and helped further a conspiracy that has spiraled into one of Tallahassee’s most notorious murder cases.
On the eve of Magbanua’s second trial on May 16, her attorneys say she is the unwitting suspect in a spat between the man who shot Markel and the Florida State law professor’s former brother-in-law, Charlie Adelson.
Magbanua narrowly escaped being convicted in Dan Markel’s murder by a hung jury deadlocked in a 10-2 vote in favor of guilty, two sources with knowledge of the vote confirmed weeks after the trial.
For the do-over, a dozen jurors will be selected starting on Monday with trial expected to commence Thursday and end by May 27. Court administration issued 500 jury summonses and expects roughly 200 potential jurors to report.
The first person Garcia called when his phone was picked up on cellular towers in the Lake City area after the July 18, 2014 shooting was Magbanua. Throughout the day, Magabanua was in contact with him and Adelson, according to evidence presented at Magbanua's 2019 trial.
Police found between Markel’s killing in July 2014 and Nov. 2015, Magbanua deposited more than $56,000 in cash into her bank account. The deposits, according to arrest records, were made mostly through ATMs in increments of $300 to $2,000.
But her defense team has never waivered in their contention their client is innocent and have labeled their client's arrest as "prosecutorial desperation," to make other arrests in the case.
May 16, 2022 in Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink