Girlfriend of Dan Markel’s Brother-In-Law Charged With Murder

Police have made a new arrest in the 2014 murder of Jewish law professor Dan Markel, nabbing Katherine Magbanua in Broward County, Florida, and charging her with first degree murder.

Magbanua has two children with Sigfredo Garcia, one of two men already charged in the alleged murder-for-hire. She was also in a relationship with Charles Adelson, the brother of Markel’s ex-wife, at the time of the killing.

In August, prosecutors asked the court for Magbanua’s medical records, seeking to identify who paid for her 2014 breast augmentation surgery.

“If Charlie Adelson paid for it, that would be very significant in a homicide investigation where there’s a conspiracy between him and Miss Magbanua,” state prosecutors said in court, according to local television station WCTV.

The Tallahassee Democrat, which has covered the case closely, reported October 2 that court documents filed in support of the arrest show that police believe that Magbuana is the only tie between Markel and his killers.

Court documents released in June showed that police thought that Markel’s murder was related to his acrimonious divorce with his ex-wife, law professor Wendi Adelson.

In August, police released heart wrenching video of Adelson learning of her ex-husband’s death, and saying that her brother, Charles, had joked about hiring a hit man to kill Markel.

“Danny didn’t treat me very well, and I’m so scared that maybe someone did this, not because they hate Danny, but because they thought this was good somehow,” Wendi Adelson said in the video.

The arrest of Magbanua comes just weeks after prosecutors said that there was not enough evidence to charge either Magbanua or Charles Adelson in the murder.

“My opinion after reading those documents is there is no probable cause here to make an arrest,” State Attorney Willie Meggs told the Tallahassee Democrat.

It’s not clear what changed since Meggs’s statement to the paper.

Contact Josh Nathan-Kazis at or follow him on Twitter, @joshnathankazis.


Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.

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