A woman who once dated the brother in-law of murdered Florida law professor Dan Markel was indicted on charges of first-degree murder Tuesday in the 2014 slaying, reported the Tallahassee Democrat.
Magbanua allegedly acted as the conduit between those who ordered Markel’s killing and those who carried it out in what the state has presented as a murder for hire plot.
After Markel divorced his wife Wendi Adelson, prosecutors suspect someone paid Luis Rivera and Sigfredo Garcia $100,000 to shoot Markel as he stood in the driveway of his suburban home on a night in July 2014. The motive was pegged as securing full custody of the couple’s children for Wendi Adelson, who wanted to move them to south Florida.
Garcia has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.
Magbanua, prosecutors said, was known to Garcia, whom she has two children with, and Charles Adelson, with whom she was friends. Prosecutors believe Charles Adelson offered to pay for a breast augmentation for Magbanua if she agreed to act as conduit to the killers. They point to a pattern of phone conversations between Magbanua and the Adelsons and the killers to support their theory.
Markel’s murder occurred shocked the local community and has garnered front page mews in the northern Florida press. Rivera pled guilty and turned state’s witness, and will testify at the trials of Magbanua and Garcia, both set to occur next year.
None of the Adelson family members have been charged in the case or formally named as suspects by authorities.
Daniel J. Solomon is the Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.