Judge denies Magbanua’s request to await trial at home

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 1:49 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A circuit judge has denied Katherine Magbanua’s request to be released from jail and await trial at home.

Magbanua had filed the motion back in August, citing a hung jury at her 2019 trial and the threat of COVID-19 while incarcerated at the Leon County Jail.

In a ruling dated Friday, Oct. 16, the new judge on the case, Circuit Judge Robert Wheeler, denied Magbanua’s request.

Wheeler cited previous rulings denying similar bond and pre-trial release requests and rejected the pandemic as a reason to consider it now.

“Whether Defendant’s continued detainment in the Leon County Detention Facility poses a great danger to her health in light of the COVID-19 pandemic is irrelevant to this Court’s proof is evident, presumption is great analysis,” the judge wrote in his order.

Magbanua’s April retrial was postponed because of the pandemic. Her two co-defendants are already doing time for the professor’s murder. Sigfredo Garcia was found guilty at trial and sentenced to life in prison. Luis Rivera is serving 19 years in a plea deal that required him to testify against Garcia and Magbanua in court.

You can find WCTV’s extensive coverage on the Dan Markel trial here.

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