Suspect in Markel murder invokes "Right to Remain Silent"

Published: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:50 AM EDT
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By: Julie Montanaro

July 1, 2016

Murder suspect Luis Rivera has invoked his right to remain silent.

Rivera is one of two men charged in the murder of FSU law professor Dan Markel.

Court records show Rivera filed notice with the court Thursday, putting prosecutors and police on notice that he would not be answering any questions without an attorney present.

Rivera was brought to the Leon County Jail to face charges earlier this week.

By: Julie Montanaro

June 29, 2016

A second suspect is now behind bars in Tallahassee facing charges in the murder of FSU Law Professor Dan Markel.

Luis Rivera was booked into the Leon County Jail Tuesday night and faced a judge early this morning. Rivera was ordered to be held without bond.

Rivera joins fellow suspect Sigfredo Garcia. Both are accused hit men in Markel's murder and Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman says both will face the death penalty.

Luis Rivera was escorted from Orlando to Tallahassee by the Leon County Swat Team Tuesday, court records say. Rivera was in a federal prison there doing time on drug charges.

"Mr. Rivera was charged in the same indictment with Mr. Garcia," prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said, "So he needed to be brought to Tallahassee to answer to the charges."

The two men are accused of gunning down FSU law professor Dan Markel as he pulled into the driveway of his home back in July 2014.

Prosecutors say videos released last week show Garcia and Rivera following Markel in a green Prius the morning he was murdered and say a series of photos show them stopping at an ATM when they returned to Miami about eight hours later.

"You know, the irony is Professor Markel of all people would say they are presumed innocent," said Markel's neighbor, Reggie Garcia.

Garcia - a lawyer who spoke to Markel's law school class more than once - says he's glad to see the case moving forward.

"I think there will be a competition among the defendants to see who's going to be the first witness, especially to avoid the death penalty and I think both defendants will be under pressure - if in fact they were hired by others - to identify who those other people are," Garcia said.

"I think as soon as one or both of these defendants credibly identify others, which hopefully happens, that it will move pretty fast," he said.

Arrest papers say the motive for Markel's murder was a custody battle and those same papers link Garcia to the the family of Markel's ex-wife.

No one else has been named a suspect, but police do expect more arrests.

"The grand jury has made themselves available to meet in August in the event that I have additional information that I want to present to them," prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said.

Cappleman said that has not been decided yet, but there is a tentative date of August 4th.

A Leon County Sheriff's Office spokesman says Garcia and Rivera are being held in separate pods at the jail and are not allowed to mingle with other inmates.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 29, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The second suspect in the 2014 murder of FSU law professor Dan Markel is now in Tallahassee.

Luis Rivera was booked into the Leon County Jail Tuesday, according to court records.

His first appearance before a judge was set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Rivera had been at Coleman Federal Correctional Complex in central Florida on unrelated charges.

Along with Sigfredo Garcia, Tallahassee police accuse Rivera of traveling to Tallahassee in 2014 to kill Markel in a murder-for-hire plot.

Police say they believe Garcia and Rivera followed Markel before eventually shooting him at his Betton Hills home.

Markel was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the head in his car, parked in the garage, in July of 2014.

Markel later died at an area hospital.

Garcia was arrested in south Florida in late May. Police say more arrests in the case are likely.