Florida woman receives life sentence following murder-for-hire plot involving FSU law professor

A Florida woman has been sentenced to life behind bars after being found guilty of assisting in the murder of a law professor eight years ago.

In May, Katherine Magbanua, 37, was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.

On Friday, she was sentenced to life in prison without probation or parole, as well as two consecutive 30-year prison terms.

According to prosecutors, Magbanua acted as the contact point between her ex-boyfriend, dentist Charlie Adelson, and the men he allegedly hired to kill Florida State University law professor Daniel Markel in 2014.

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Markel was shot inside his car in Tallahassee, Florida, shortly before 11 a.m. on July 18, 2014. He died the next day. At the time, he was in the process of divorcing Adelson’s sister, Wendi.

Investigators found that prior to the shooting, a Toyota Prius had been “trailing Markel’s car” as he dropped his children off at daycare and made a trip to the gym.

One of the accused shooters, identified as Sigfredo Garcia, previously lived with Magbanua and had two children with her.

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In June 2016, Garcia and his alleged accomplice, Luis Rivera, were charged. Garcia was convicted in 2019 for first-degree murder, while Rivera pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Magbanua was arrested in October 2016. Adelson, who was arrested in April, was charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.

Lawyers representing Markel’s parents said Magbanua’s sentencing “marks another important step toward accountability and justice.”

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Featured Image via Tallahassee Democrat

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