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Florida Jury Finds Hitman Guilty In Murder Of Jewish Law Professor

(JTA) — A Tallahassee, Florida jury found a man guilty in the murder of Dan Markel, a Jewish law professor shot outside his home in 2014.

The jury on Friday found Sigfredo Garcia, 37, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, the New York Times reported. Sentencing begins on Monday. Garcia faces the death penalty in the case.

The same jury was unable to reach a verdict on the same charges against Katherine Magbanua, 35, leading the judge to declare a mistrial.

A third person charged in the murder, Luis Rivera, a close friend of Garcia and a former leader of the North Miami Latin Kings gang, cooperated with law enforcement. Under a plea deal, Rivera testified against Garcia and Magbanua, receiving a 19-year sentence and avoiding the death penalty.

Markel was a popular 41-year-old professor at Florida State University at the time of his death. He was a well-known criminal law scholar who had helped build a network of online legal scholarship.

He and his wife Wendi Adelson divorced in 2013 and received joint custody of their sons. At the time of Markel’s death, Adelson had  asked for and been denied permission to move with the boys to South Florida.

Adelson’s brother and mother then arranged the murder for hire of Merkel for $100,000, prosecutors said. None of the Adelsons has been charged in the case.

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