Suspect in murder of FSU professor appears in court

Published: May. 26, 2016 at 12:33 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 2, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The man accused of killing FSU law professor Dan Markel appeared before a judge at the Leon County Courthouse Thursday morning.

Sigfredo Garcia, 34, did not enter a plea Thursday.

Garcia provided information on his attorney to a judge. Garcia has retained attorney James Lewis of Fort Lauderdale to represent him in court.

Lewis tells WCTV that he plans to motion for bond and that he doesn't believe the evidence that police have gathered against Garcia is strong enough to hold him without bond.

He says much of this case is based on speculation right now.

"What is missing at this point, there's no physical evidence that links my client to the crime, there's no eyewitness testimony that indicates he's involved in this shooting in any way. They're trying to put him in Tallahassee with some phone records that may or may not be his phone. I think it's a very weak case," Lewis says.

Lewis also told WCTV that moving the case out of Tallahassee is a "definite possibility" due to the strong interest in the case locally.

Lewis tells us Garcia has a bond hearing set for June 24th.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 1, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The man accused of killing FSU law professor Dan Markel is now in the Leon County Jail and is expected to make his first appearance in Leon County Court Thursday morning.

34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia was arrested one week ago in Hallandale Beach and was being held in the Broward County Jail awaiting extradition.

He arrived in Leon County at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Leon County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Grady Jordan said, "He'll go in and he'll be booked in a classification, and then he'll sit down with a classification officer and they'll do the questionnaires and checklist. Then he'll be classified and housed accordingly based off that."

Police say Markel was shot in the head while sitting in his car in his garage back in July 2014.

Garcia is currently the only suspect charged in Markel's murder.

Documents that include more details of the crime and Garcia's alleged role in it was sealed by a judge.

It's not clear if those details will be released after Garcia's first appearance before a judge on Thursday morning.

By: Associated Press

May 31, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A lawyer representing a South Florida man arrested for killing a Florida State University law professor says Sigfredo Garcia will plead not guilty to murder charges.

Garcia was arrested last week by police in Broward County in connection to the death of Daniel Markel.

Markel was shot in the head inside his garage during the middle of the day in July 2014. Markel, who was well-known in national and international legal circles, died later from the wound.

Fort Lauderdale attorney Jim Lewis said Tuesday that Garcia had nothing to do with Markel's killing. He said that Garcia will put in his not guilty plea when he is officially transferred by authorities to Leon County.

Lewis could not go into details about Garcia's case. That's because a judge has initially sealed records related to Garcia's arrest.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News

May 27, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Tallahassee Police Department says an arrest has been made in connection with the 2014 murder of Florida State University professor Dan Markel.

Markel was found in his vehicle at his Betton Hills home on Trescott Drive suffering from a gunshot wound to the head in July of 2014.

34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia was arrested Wednesday and charged with first degree murder and possession of cocaine, according to Tallahassee police.

He was arrested in Hallandale Beach, Florida by police and transported to the Broward County Jail.

Early Thursday morning, the Tallahassee Police Department released the following statement:

On July 18, 2014, at approximately 11:00am, the Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) was called to 2116 Trescott Drive regarding a shooting incident. When officers arrived, Daniel Markel was found with an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Mr. Markel was rushed to a local hospital, but later succumbed to his injury. The case was assigned to TPD’s Violent Crimes Unit for a full investigation. All of the evidence collected on scene was processed and all identified witnesses were interviewed. A hotline was established with hundreds of leads being provided by members of the community, each one being assigned to an investigator and thoroughly vetted. The FBI provided vital assistance throughout the investigation and along with members of several other State and Federal agencies, worked tirelessly to determine who was responsible for the homicide of Mr. Markel. On May 25, 2016 the State Attorney's Office approved the probable cause and TPD obtained a warrant for the arrest of Sigfredo Garcia (DOB: 04/27/82) in connection with the case. On the same day, Mr. Garcia was taken into custody by members of the Hallandale Beach Police Department in Broward County, Florida. He was transported to the Broward County Jail for processing.

TPD released few new details on the case at a press conference late Thursday morning. Police chief Michael DeLeo said that due to the ongoing investigation, documents on the case have been sealed.

"This has affected all of us here in our community, any time someone is injured or murdered in affects us all," TPD spokesman Dave Northway told media. "It's an atrocity and should not be happening in our community. [Garcia's arrest] does bring us some satisfaction, but it will never, ever take the horror away from losing a family member."

Garcia appeared in Broward County court Thursday. He told a judge that he needed to retrieve his personal property in order to contact his lawyer.

He is being held without bond and awaiting extradition to Leon County.

Stay with for the latest on this story as it develops.