Katherine Magbanua Found Guilty In Murder For Hire Plot
Katherine Magbanua introduced two contract killers to the people who wanted Toronto-born Florida State University law professor Dan Markel dead.
After eight hours of deliberation, a Tallassee jury found Magbanua guilty of first-degree murder in the July 2014 contract hit on Markel. She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder.
Detectives have considered Markel’s ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, along with her family as persons of interest since the beginning of the maze-like murder plot.
Markel and Adelson were in the midst of a bitter custody dispute that focused on her wanting to move with their two children from Tallahassee to where her family lives in South Florida.
But Markel was dead set against the move. And then he was dead.
“There is more work ahead to ensure that each and every person responsible for Danny’s barbaric murder is brought to justice and held accountable,” Markels’ family said in a statement.
“Until that day, we will continue to fight for complete justice and to spend time with our grandchildren.
The Markels have not seen their grandchildren since 2016.
Magbanua was the suspected link between hitmen Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera and the family of Markel’s ex-wife.
Prosecutors are now targeting Adelson’s brother, dentist Charlie Adelson, who was arrested on murder charges last month.
Adelson’s parents, Donna and Charlie Adelson are the suspected masterminds and moneybags behind Markel’s contract killing.
At the time of the murder, Magbanua was working as a dental assistant in Charlie Adelson’s South Florida practice. The pair were also engaging in a sexual relationship. Magbunua has two children with convicted hitman Sigfredo Garcia.
Cops say that Rivera and Garcia drove to Tallahassee in a rented Toyota Prius, then stalked Markel as he dropped his kids off at daycare and went to the gym. The killers followed Markel home and shot him to death as he sat in his car in the driveway.
Afterward, Rivera and Garcia returned to Miami.
Magbanua now faces life in prison for murder and up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy and solicitation.