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Jury in Katherine Magbanua’s upcoming trial will see Dolce Vita video, but not transcripts or subtitles

The video player below shows a portion of the FBI’s original recording of the conversation.
This is a clip of the original FBI recording showing Charlie Adelson meeting Katherine Magbanua at the Dolce Vita restaurant in April 2016.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 11:12 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A judge has ruled that the jury in Katherine Magbanua’s upcoming trial will get to see a secret FBI recording, but will not see subtitles or transcripts of the conversation.

The video features a meeting between Magbanua and Charlie Adelson at the Dolce Vita restaurant in Miami back in 2016.

The state was seeking to add subtitles and share a transcript with the jury. The defense argued those were inaccurate and misleading.

Judge Robert Wheeler ruled late last week that the expert who clarified the audio and the court reporter who transcribed it are “in no better position” than the jury to authenticate the content of the conversation.

Judge Wheeler previously ruled the tape itself — with newly enhanced audio — was trustworthy and admissible and he reiterated that in his latest ruling.

Prosecutors say the newly enhanced recording is what led to the April 20 indictment and subsequent arrest of Charlie Adelson.

Adelson is now the fourth person charged in the murder of his former brother-in-law, Dan Markel. Markel — an FSU law professor — was shot and killed as he pulled into the garage of his Betton Hills home in July 2014.

Prosecutors previously implicated Adelson in the murder-for-hire plot but had not charged him.

Charlie Adelson’s attorneys deny he was involved in the murder-for-hire scheme and questioned the timing of his arrest so close to Magbanua’s May 16 trial.

Magbanua’s first trial in 2019 ended with a hung jury and her retrial has been repeatedly delayed during the pandemic.

Two others — Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera — are already serving prison sentences for their role in Markel’s murder. Rivera is expected to testify against Magbanua at trial.

A final pre-trial hearing is set for this Friday, May 13, with jury selection scheduled to begin on Monday, May 16, and testimony is expected to start on Wednesday, May 18.

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