Magbanua to be sentenced July 29 in Dan Markel murder

FILE PHOTO: Katherine Magbanua back in a Tallahassee courtroom as jury selection begins,...
FILE PHOTO: Katherine Magbanua back in a Tallahassee courtroom as jury selection begins, she'll be retried for the murder of FSU professor Dan Markel.(WCTV)
Published: Jun. 16, 2022 at 11:07 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Katherine Magbanua is now set to be sentenced on July 29 for the murder of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel.

Magbanua was found guilty last month of first-degree murder, conspiracy and solicitation in the 2014 murder for hire.

Magbanua faces a life sentence on the first-degree murder conviction and up to 30 years in prison on the other charges. The state did not seek the death penalty against her.

Court records show the sentencing hearing is set at the same time, day and courtroom as a case management hearing for newly arrested co-defendant Charlie Adelson.

Adelson was arrested in April, nearly eight years after the murder.

He’s accused of conspiring with Magbanua to hire a hit man to kill his ex-brother-in-law. Markel was engaged in a bitter custody battle with Charlie’s sister, Wendi Adelson, at the time.

Prosecutors said a secretly recorded video of Adelson meeting with Magbanua at Miami’s Dolce Vita restaurant was the “game-changer” that led to his 2022 indictment and arrest. An audio forensics expert was recently able to enhance the recording and reduce background noise so their conversation can be heard more clearly, though significant portions of it are still inaudible.

Two men are already serving prison sentences in the plot. Convicted triggerman Sigfredo Garcia is serving a life sentence. Co-defendant Luis Rivera is serving a 19-year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony against the others.

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