Woman guilty in murder-for-hire plot of Florida law professor

Posted at 7:00 AM, May 31, 2022 and last updated 8:37 PM, August 25, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A decision has been reached in the retrial of Katherine Magbanua.

A jury in a Leon County courtroom found Magbanua guilty of first-degree murder, guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and guilty of solicitation to commit murder Friday night.

Katherine Magbanua, charged in the 2014 murder of Florida State law professor Dan Markel, watches as one of her lawyers speaks with Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman Friday, Sept. 27, 2019.

Magbanua was charged with first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.

She was accused of being a point person between Charles “Charlie” Adelson and Sigfredo Garcia.

Garcia was found guilty in October 2019 for shooting and killing Florida State University law professor Dan Markel outside Markel’s Tallahassee residence in July 2014.

Garcia is serving life in state prison for his role in the murder of Markel.

Markel was the ex-husband of Wendi Adelson. Wendi Adelson is the sister of Charlie Adelson.

Charlie Adelson was arrested in April and charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder in the murder of Markel.

Magbanua’s initial trial in the murder of Markel ended in a mistrial in October 2019.

Sentencing for Magbanua is scheduled in 30 days.

FILE – Dan Markel (Florida State University)

Attorneys Orin Snyder and Matt Benjamin released a statement on behalf of the Markel family following the verdict Friday:

“The jury’s conviction of Katherine Magbanua is another important step forward on the path to justice. It has been almost eight years since Danny was brutally murdered in cold blood, and it has taken a tremendous effort to get to this point. We are extremely grateful for the tireless commitment of law enforcement and the Leon County State’s Attorney’s Office. We also want to express our appreciation to the jurors for their service. Finally, we are so thankful for the support and encouragement we have received from friends and family around the world and, in particular, from the Tallahassee community that has embraced us and helped to bring about justice.”

“As all who followed the trial know, 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. Until that day, we will continue to fight for complete justice and to spend time with with our grandchildren, Danny’s two young boys, whom we love and miss dearly.”

This story was originally published May 27 by WTXL in Tallahassee, an E.W. Scripps Company.