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Florida woman Katherine Magbanua gets life in prison for contract killing-shooting of FSU professor Daniel Markel

A South Florida woman has been sentenced to life in prison plus additional time for her role in a murder for hire that led to the shooting of a local law professor.

Katherine Magbanua was sentenced Friday morning to life in prison without the possibility of parole or parole and two consecutive 30-year terms. Magbanua, 37, was convicted in May of first-degree murder, conspiracy to murder and solicitation of murder.

Prosecutors said she acted as a go-between for her ex-boyfriend, dentist Charlie Adelson, and the men he allegedly hired to kill Florida State University law professor Daniel “Danny” Markel eight years ago.

Magbanua’s attorney, Tara Kawass, had asked for the lightest possible sentence, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Kawass read a statement on behalf of her client, telling the court: “She thinks of Dan Markel every day, she thinks of his kids every day. … Not a day goes by that she doesn’t express how broken her heart is for the Markel family. I can say that Ms Magbanua hopes and prays that justice will continue in this case and has not been achieved and she wants every single person who was involved who knows anything about it to be brought to justice.”

Daniel Markel was a law professor at Florida State University.
Daniel Markel was a law professor at Florida State University with his ex-wife Wendi Adelson.
FSU College of Law

Markel, a celebrity attorney, was on the heels of a controversial divorce with Adelson’s sister Wendi when he was gunned down in his car on July 18, 2014. The couple disagreed and had fallen out in court documents over specific issues, namely Wendi’s move from Tallahassee to be closer to her family in South Florida.

Tallahassee Police Department investigators said Markel dropped his children off at the daycare about five miles from his home at about 8:50 a.m. and then went to the Premier Health and Fitness Center, where he died about 9 a.m., according to a probable cause affidavit :12pm arrived 2016 shared online.

Police determined that a Toyota Prius had not only followed Markel into the parking lot of the gym, but also “haunted Markel’s car” before and after his time at the gym.

“Investigators believe the suspects in the Prius followed the victim throughout the morning and back to this apartment where the victim was shot in the head while sitting in his car,” the affidavit reads. “Markel’s neighbor heard what he thought was a gunshot and looked out the window where he saw a small silver or light-colored vehicle resembling a Prius backing out of the victim’s driveway.”

Dentist Charles Adelson is said to have orchestrated the murder of Daniel Markel, his sister's ex-husband.
Dentist Charles Adelson is said to have orchestrated the murder of Daniel Markel, his sister’s ex-husband.
Broward County Sheriff’s Office via AP

Markel was taken to a local hospital but could not be saved.

Magbanua had lived with one of the accused shooters, Sigfredo Garcia, with whom she had two children. She had previously been in a relationship with Charlie Adelson and once worked for Adelson’s family’s dental practice.

Garcia and his alleged accomplice Luis Rivera were charged in June 2016. Magbanua was arrested months later in October 2016. Garcia was convicted of first-degree murder in 2019 and has appealed his conviction. Rivera pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Charlie Adelson, 45, was arrested in April 2022 after being indicted by a grand jury. He was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to murder and solicitation of murder. He pleaded not guilty.

https://nypost.com/2022/07/30/florida-woman-katherine-magbanua-gets-life-in-prison-in-murder-for-hire-shooting-death-of-fsu-professor-daniel-markel/ Florida woman Katherine Magbanua gets life in prison for contract killing-shooting of FSU professor Daniel Markel

JACLYN DIAZ

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