Suspects in Markel murder case to be tried together

Published: Jun. 20, 2018 at 4:53 PM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

June 20, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Two defendants in a high profile murder trial are now set to be tried together.

A judge made the decision Wednesday for Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua, both accused in the murder of Florida State law professor Dan Markel, to be tried together.

Prosecutors asked the judge to allow them to combine the two cases. They say putting on the trial will take tremendous resources.

Markel was gunned down as he pulled into the garage of his Betton Hills home four years ago.

Garcia is accused of carrying out the killing in July of 2014. Prosecutors say he was a hitman hired by Markel's in-laws and Magbanua was the connection between the two parties.

A third person charged in the murder, Luis Rivera, pleaded guilty to helping Garcia carry out the shooting. Rivera is expected to testify against Garcia and Magbanua during the trial.

Garcia was originally set to head to trial next month, but because the cases are merging, the judge pushed it back. The defendants are now set to go on trial together in October.

Markel's in-laws, who prosecutors claim arranged the murder, have not been charged. Through their lawyer, they have maintained their innocence.