Neighbors react to new details in Markel murder case

The scene in July 2014 at Markel's Betton Hills home.
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By: Alicia Turner
June 2, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Former neighbors of Florida State University professor Dan Markel are reacting to new details in the investigation of his murder.

News of suspect Sigfredo Garcia's arrest in the murder shocked people living in the Betton Hills neighborhood last week. Today's startling revelations have neighbors talking yet again.

Some folks are really surprised; while others say they had a feeling something like this would be the final outcome.

In two short years, a lot has changed on Trescott Drive. A beloved neighbor shot dead, a mystery for many.

But now neighbors are reacting to new details that suggest Dan Markel’s murder was allegedly not a random act of violence.

Neighbor Carl Nash says, "That was the first thing that went through my head because it said he was going through a divorce."

Neighbor Bill Marvin says, "I don’t think anyone in the neighborhood would have ever expected something like this to happen. That was a real shocker and to think that it was a for-hire?"

Even more shocking, allegations in court papers saying the family of Markel’s ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, had a relationship with the suspect.

In 2013, Adelson and Markel were in a custody battle over their two children.

"The kids are the victims now, they’re the true victims. We'll have to find out about the wife and everything down the road,” says Marvin.

Also in the report, police describe how the suspects cased the neighborhood, by walking down a trail behind the home. It provides a direct view of Markel's house.

Those who use the path today say they are shocked.

Resident Tim Lynch says, "It’s the most beautiful path I know anywhere in the city, and it’s downtown, and to feel like it was violated by two heinous characters like these two is just disturbing and proves that you can never be too careful."

For the latest details on the case, click here.

By: Alicia Turner
May 26, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Right now, residents in one Tallahassee neighborhood are talking. The murder of a beloved Florida State University professor rocked the Betton Hills neighborhood when it happened back in 2014. Without a suspect or motive, it left many uneasy.

In July 2014, investigators from multiple agencies combed through Dan Markel's home on Trescott Drive, looking for clues as to who shot the 41-year-old and why.

Now a suspect is finally in custody.

On Wednesday, authorities announced that 34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia had been arrested in the case and charged with first degree murder and possession of cocaine.

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

With Garcia's arrest, many neighbors say this is a step towards some closure.

"Hallelujah, thank you," said neighbor Lee Johnson.

Johnson lives down the street. He's relieved after hearing about the arrest.

Garcia is now facing murder charges. It's an update this community’s been waiting on for nearly two years.

"I'm really grateful that they can breathe a sigh of relief," said Johnson.

Neighbors say to this day it’s still shocking to think about what happened so close to their home.

"It’s kind of shattering to your psyche when you have someone three houses down from you in a neighborhood like this just get killed in their driveway," said neighbor Drayton Osteen.

Many say they thought the case had gone cold.

"It would definitely be more difficult for this to be possible after this much time has passed," said Osteen.

Neighbor Reggie Garcia said, "What was that person doing on the street and available to commit murder in the summer of 2014?"

Sigfredo Garcia's criminal history dates back to 1997.

While his recent arrest doesn’t change what happened here, residents say it helps them move forward.

"I drive past it every day and you of course think about him all the time, particularly his young sons and his students. He was quite beloved as an FSU law professor,” Reggie said.

A professor, father, and friend, neighbors say was taken far too soon.

The community is still waiting to find out what led to Garcia's arrest and what's next in this case.

Sigfredo Garcia is being held without bond at the Broward County Jail and awaiting extradition to Leon County.

By: James Buechele
May 26, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Dan Markel was a popular and widely published professor at Florida State University's College of Law. His colleagues were stunned by his murder in 2014.

Thursday, we spoke with Dean Don Weidner, who says Markel’s reach wasn't just in the FSU community, but across the globe.

Markel had a law blog called 'PrawfsBlawg' where law professors from around the world could comment on just about anything.

Colleagues say even those who never met Markel were influenced by him through the web, where he was constantly working with colleagues both locally and abroad.

"He was a true and vivacious intellectual who liked to engage other people. Of course, he engaged his colleagues here by working on their manuscripts he critiqued it. He was very interactive with the students," said Weidner.

Weidner says he believes much of Markel's work helped to put the Florida State College of Law on the map.

He also added that there's a lot of relief that justice seems to be on the way in the case.

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