July 4, 2022

GAVEL-TO-GAVEL COVERAGE: The Tallahassee Democrat will livestream every day of the trial of Katherine Magbanua from the courthouse in Tallahassee. Watch on Tallahassee.com and on the Tallahassee Democrat’s Fb web page. For finest viewing expertise: Obtain the Tallahassee Democrat app to look at and obtain textual content alerts on when to look at – from opening arguments to the decision. If you’re having hassle seeing the livestream, click on right here.

Katherine Magbanua faces a jury once more in the homicide of acclaimed Florida State legislation professor Dan Markel.

Within the retrial that begins right now, Magbanua faces prices of first-degree homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide and solicitation of homicide in reference to Markel’s broad-daylight taking pictures in July 2014.

She is suspected of being the conduit between the hitmen and Markel’s former in-laws who’ve been implicated because the masterminds and financiers of what investigators say was a homicide for rent.

Day 1 recap: Dan Markel homicide ‘intermediary’? Conflicting portraits of Katherine Magbanua emerge

Charlie Adelson arrested:  Newest twist within the murder-for-hire case of FSU professor Dan Markel

What follows is a recurrently up to date reporter’s pocket book account of the day’s proceedings from Karl Etters, who has lined all of the twists in the case for the final seven years.

5 p.m.: Lead investigator particulars motive, protection grills over co-conspirators

Jurors heard from the lead detective within the case, retired Tallahassee Police Division detective Craig Isom.

Isom detailed the primary tidbits of clues surrounding the rented Prius Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera drove to Tallahassee in to kill Markel in addition to indicators from Markel’s divorce that others could also be concerned in his dying.

He additionally delved into the alleged connections that led to the arrest of Katherine Magbanua.

Isom walked jurors by way of surveillance video of Markel’s final moments as he left Premier Health and drove house down Thomasville Street. Lurking behind him was Garcia and Rivera within the Prius, which was captured on the gymnasium’s video in addition to on passing metropolis busses.

The movies offered key clues that allowed investigators to seek out the precise automobile and slim down who could have been behind Markel’s homicide.

The car had an after-market sideview mirror. It had a lacking entrance tow hook and a SunPass, which was used to move by way of a toll sales space on I-75 close to Naples simply after 5:20 p.m. the day Markel was shot.

“We didn’t have anything to go on,” Isom stated. “Simply the Prius.”

Investigators had been capable of observe the automobile again to the rental company the place Rivera had signed his personal identify and written his cellphone quantity on the rental settlement.

Isom additionally detailed how court docket filings in Markel’s divorce, in addition to statements by his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, led to suspicions that her household could also be concerned.

She advised Isom her brother, Charlie Adelson, had joked that he appeared into hiring a hitman however as a substitute bought a TV as a result of it was cheaper. He was arrested final month on prices of first-degree homicide, conspiracy to commit homicide and solicitation of homicide in reference to Markel’s dying.

Isom stated there have been court docket filings which additionally piqued his curiosity.

Craig Isom, a retired Tallahassee Police Division violent crimes investigator, is recalled to testify within the trial for the homicide of Florida State legislation professor Dan Markel Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019.

Markel and Wendi Adelson argued over rather a lot throughout their break up. The whole lot from jewellery to tennis rackets.

Additionally they argued over the Adelson household’s want to maneuver their youngsters to South Florida, a transfer a choose denied.

Isom stated investigators realized Wendi Adelson’s mom, Donna Adelson, then ramped up recommendations about the right way to coerce Markel into permitting the transfer, based mostly on emails collected from Wendi Adelson’s pc.

He stated Donna Adelson advised bribing Markel with a $1 million payout or threatening to transform the boys to Catholicism. Markel was devoutly Jewish.

“They thought perhaps this is able to set off one thing for him to voluntarily enable the youngsters to maneuver to South Florida,” Isom stated.

Markel filed a movement to ask a choose that Donna Adelson solely be allowed supervised visits along with his sons.

Katherine Magbanua listens to defense attorney Christopher DeCoste at the start of jury selection on Monday, May 16, 2022 for Magbanua's trial on charges she was involved in the murder of Dan Markel.

Katherine Magbanua listens to protection lawyer Christopher DeCoste firstly of jury choice on Monday, Could 16, 2022 for Magbanua’s trial on prices she was concerned within the homicide of Dan Markel.

“Was that movement ever heard by the court docket,” Assistant State Legal professional Georgia Cappleman requested Isom.

“No,” he replied.

“Why not?”

“As a result of Dan Markel was murdered,” Isom advised jurors.

Isom stated throughout is first interview with Rivera, the gang chief volunteered Magbanua’s identify as being concerned within the plot and was not coerced to take action.

He detailed how though Magbanua started receiving checks from the Adelson’s South Florida dentistry observe simply months after the homicide, investigators had been unable to ascertain her job title, discover an employment document or utility or tax paperwork associated to the job.

Isom nonetheless contradicted himself throughout questioning by Magbanua’s attorneys Chris DeCoste.

DeCoste grilled the retired investigator concerning the interviews with Rivera and Magbanua’s employment with Adelson as an workplace assistant liable for contacting sufferers.

DeCoste reviewed a number of texts by which he stated it appeared Magbanua communicated with Charlie Adelson about scheduling, remotely speaking sufferers and being excited to be employed.

“Are you able to inform them (jurors) conclusively that she didn’t work for Charlie Adelson, legitimately receiving the cash?” DeCoste requested.

“No,” Isom replied.

Isom stated when Rivera was interviewed within the months earlier than Magbanua’s arrest, warrants had been offered to his attorneys as a part of the stream of proof. Inside these affidavits, there was details about the case, together with the idea that Magbanua was concerned.

That gave Rivera ample time to craft his story round what investigator’s believed occurred, which included implicating his consumer, DeCoste stated.

“It was his phrase alone that resulted within the arrest of Katherine Maganua,” DeCoste stated. “Didn’t you unintentionally give him the script of what to say?”

Isom replied: “If you wish to take a look at it from that hindsight, sure.”

12:40 p.m. State calls Markel’s neighbor, first investigators on scene and health worker

Prosecutors known as their first witnesses, together with the neighbor who discovered Markel and known as 911 and the primary investigators on scene.

Markel’s neighbor described listening to a bang whereas at his Trescott Drive home, which might later become a gunshot. He then noticed a light-colored Toyota Prius fleeing Markel’s driveway throughout the road.

The neighbor stated he went over to test on Markel and located him bloody and unresponsive earlier than calling 911. He advised jurors Markel’s automobile was nonetheless operating when he discovered him within the storage.

It took an ambulance 19 minutes to get to Markel’s house and transport him to the hospital the place he later died.

Extra from 2014: Ambulance arrived at Markel’s house 19 minutes after 911 name

Two now retired Tallahassee Police Division investigators testified that it didn’t seem that Markel was the sufferer of a housebreaking. The doorways to his home had been nonetheless locked when police arrived, they advised jurors.

Jurors noticed crime scene pictures that confirmed the shattered window of Markel’s automobile and grisly post-mortem pictures of Markel.

They revealed that he’d been shot within the head twice at level clean vary, as soon as by way of the window and a second time.

Dr. Anthony J. Clark, an affiliate health worker in Tallahassee, stated it appeared Markel had been shot from as shut as two ft away.

Jurors will return to court docket at 1:30 p.m. when testimony will resume. 

Organising the case: ‘Prosecutorial desperation’ or nefarious nexus? Two takes on Katherine Magbanua’s retrial

Revisiting the 2019 trial: The whole lot we realized every day in court docket 

11 a.m: State factors to Magbanua as conduit, protection says lack of proof in opening statements

Prosecutors laid out their case in opposition to Katherine Magabanua, alleging she was intimately concerned within the murder-for-hire plot that led to the dying of Dan Markel.

Assistant State Legal professional Sarah Dugan pointed the finger on the 37-year-old throughout opening statements by which she stated Magbanua was the very important hyperlink between the boys employed to kill the Florida State legislation professor and his estranged in-laws who needed him lifeless over a bitter youngster custody battle.

“The defendant was the hyperlink or the center man between the individuals who needed this homicide accomplished and the person who pulled the set off,” Dugan advised the 14-member jury panel which was seated Tuesday.

“That they had an enormous drawback and that drawback was Dan Markel. The answer to that drawback was this defendant. She was the answer as a result of she had connections to folks keen to level a gun at a stranger and pulling the set off.”

Dugan stated there have been two preliminary clues that set investigators on the paths that led to Magbanua and the conspiracy allegedly set in movement by the Adelsons.

The primary was the tense divorce between Markel and his ex-wife Wendi Adleson. She gave them their first trace of a motive the day Markel was shot when she advised them her brother had joked about hiring a hitman however opted as a substitute to purchase her a TV.

A bitter divorce: Markel, Adelson sparred as much as the top

Investigators found Adelson’s household needed her and her two youngsters transfer to South Florida, some extent of rivalry with Markel who was working at Florida State’s legislation faculty.

Markel was murdered July 18, 2014 and inside 4 days, Wendi Adelson had moved. Later, their final names had been modified to Adelson.

“Identical to that their father was successfully erased for his or her lives and the Adelson household’s drawback had been resolved,” Dugan stated.

The opposite path that led to Magbanua, Dugan advised jurors, was the sighting of a Toyota Prius leaving Markel’s home simply after the taking pictures.

The automobile was captured on a number of surveillance cameras tailing Markel and ready for him within the parking zone of Premier Health the day he was killed. Information of cell telephones across the gymnasium led police to Garcia and Rivera’s numbers, two Miami numbers which appeared misplaced in Tallahassee.

Garcia’s on-again, off-again relationship with Magbanua, and her relationship Charlie Adelson allowed investigators to attach the dots, Dugan stated.

“The defendant’s boyfriend was trying to rent a hitman and the daddy of the defendant’s youngsters was the hitman that killed Dan Markel,” she advised jurors. “Each of those paths ended along with his defendant. Two investigations one conclusion.”

However Magbanua’s Miami protection group, Chris DeCoste and Tara Kawas, say the state has the improper impression about their consumer and questioned the crux of their case.

Kawass advised jurors that there isn’t a disputing that Charlie Adelson had Dan Markel killed or that Luis Rivera and Sigfredo Garcia had been the boys who carried out the hit.

“What we don’t agree on is whether or not or not Katherine Magbanua knew about plan to have Dan Markel killed,” she stated. “That’s the one factor we don’t agree on. Did Katherine know? It’s that straightforward.”

Kawass contended that Adelson straight employed Garcia to kill Markel as a part of an settlement by which he would have stopped relationship Magbanua. A month after Markel’s homicide, Adelson did.

She pointed to at the least two interactions between Garcia and Adelson within the months earlier than Markel was killed that she stated was when Garcia was employed to be a hitman.

“You need her again, no drawback I’ll offer you $100,000 in money and I’ll depart her alone in the event you do that for me,” Kawass advised jurors. “The deal was hatched in that second.”

Magbanua was solely tied to the crime by the statements of Luis Rivera, a cooperating state witness anticipated to take the stand right now. He advised police he heard Magbanua and Garcia talking on the cellphone within the hours after the homicide.

“They don’t have one piece of direct proof that claims that she knew, the one proof they’ve of that’s Luis Rivera,” Kawass stated, calling him a “convicted assassin” and liar. “It wasn’t till he stated I heard Katherine on the cellphone that they had been capable of make an arrest.”

9 a.m. |What to anticipate from the trial as opening arguments start

Prosecutors are set to put out their case in opposition to Magbanua this morning. Court docket begins at 8:30 a.m. with opening statements more likely to start round 9.

Her Miami attorneys will observe prosecutors. They’ve maintained Magbanua’s innocence since her arrest in 2016 and all through her first trial in 2019.

In a current interview, they stated they consider Markel’s homicide wasn’t by way of their consumer, however linked to a spat between the daddy of her youngsters and convicted gunman Sigfredo Garcia and Markel’s former brother-in-law Charlie Adelson.

It’s nonetheless unclear whether or not Magbanua will take the stand in her personal protection. In 2019, she testified on her personal behalf, denying any involvement and pointing the finger at Adelson.

Prosecutors’ case has modified since Magbanua’s final trial. A few of the faces on the stand might.

Jurors will hear for the primary time from Garcia, who was convicted of Markel’s homicide alongside Magbanua of their 2019 joint trial.

Garcia, at one level a small-time prison from the Miami space, is more likely to element renting a Toyota Prius with is childhood pal Luis Rivera to drive to Tallahassee to homicide Markel.

However what’s unclear is what he could reveal about Magbanua’s involvement. Prosecutors say she employed Garcia to shoot Markel on the behest of the legislation professor’s former brother-in-law, Charlie Adelson.

Garcia is serving a life sentence.

Extra: Dan Markel homicide: Sigfredo Garcia vows enchantment in letter to Katherine Magbanua on eve of sentence

Rivera, a pacesetter within the North Miami tribe of the Latin Kings gang, is a cooperating state witness and is anticipated to once more testify throughout this trial. In trade for his cooperation, he was sentenced to 12 years for second-degree homicide in an settlement with prosecutors that led to Magbanua’s arrest in 2016.

In 2019, he described tailing Markel with Garcia. They stalked him as he dropped his youngsters off at Inventive Preschool, went to Premier gymnasium and drove again to his house on Trescott Drive.

He stated he didn’t know the 2 had been coming to Tallahassee for a homicide till they had been within the automobile, as a substitute believing it was a theft.

He advised jurors then Magbanua was additionally concerned.

“He stated we had been going to kill the person for some youngsters,” Rivera stated. “For a girl as a result of the woman needed her youngsters again. “It was all Katie.”

Her attorneys are more likely to grill Rivera about inconsistencies in his statements to legislation enforcement concerning the plot. They are saying he’s unreliable, has made statements that resemble ones already publicly identified and has advised investigators what they needed to listen to  not the reality.

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This text initially appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Katherine Magbanua trial: Opening arguments in Dan Markel homicide case

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