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Garcia Guilty of Markel Murder, Hung Jury for Magbanua

October 11th, 2019 by Mike Vasilinda

A jury in Tallahassee has found one person guilty of first degree murder in the slaying of an FSU law professor, but it could not come to a unanimous decision in the case of a woman co conspirator.

The family of slain law professor Dan Markel left the courtroom without talking to reporters.

Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said the family is pleased with the verdict, despite the jury being unable to come to a unanimous decision on codefendant Katherine Magbanua.

“It’s been a long road and I’m really happy to get the beginnings of some justice for the Markel family,” said Cappleman. “They’re happy, they’re very happy.”

Katherine Magbanua cried as she heard the jury could not agree on murder charges against her.

The father of Magbanua’s children Sigfredo Garcia now faces the death penalty.

“I think that she had been reserving her emotional aspect for a long time and it reached its tipping point,” said Garcia’s Attorney Saam Zangeneh. “You know, and listen to what she just heard. That the father of her children may be put to death.”

Jurors did convict Sigfredo Garcia on a conspiracy.

The only conspirators named in the trial were the family of the slain law professor’s ex-wife, though no charges have been brought against the family at this time.

Cappleman described the verdicts as a good start, despite failing to get a conviction for Magbanua.

When asked if now-convicted Sigfredo Garcia might cooperate to save himself from the death penalty and to save the mother of his children Cappleman said it wasn’t her call to make.

“I don’t do the reaching out. He’s represented by council so I don’t reach out to folks that are represented by council. They’ll have to let me know if that’s what they want to do,” said Cappleman.

Magbanua will remain in jail where she’s been for three years.

A hearing in her case is set for later this month.

A hearing on whether Sigfredo Garcia will receive the death penalty will be held on Monday.

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