Woman Arrested in 2014 Slaying of FSU Law Professor

Police allege she was the connection between his ex's family and his killers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 3, 2016 3:03 PM CDT
Updated Oct 3, 2016 3:17 PM CDT
This photo taken on Feb. 7, 2006, and made available by Florida State University shows law school professor Daniel Markel.   (AP Photo/Florida State University)

(Newser) – Police have made a third arrest in the 2014 killing of a Florida State University law professor, a woman who they say has ties both to the family of the victim's ex-wife and one of the alleged shooters, the AP reports. The Tallahassee police said Sunday that Katherine Magbanua, 31, was arrested near Fort Lauderdale on Saturday and charged with murder in the July 2014 slaying of Daniel Markel, who was gunned down in his garage. She was being held Sunday at the Broward County jail without bond pending her transfer to Tallahassee. Investigators say she was the connection between the family of Markel's ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, and the two men allegedly hired to carry out the shooting, per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In documents released by the police Sunday and previously obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat, detectives alleged that Magbanua had a romantic relationship with the brother of Wendi Adelson and that she lived with Sigfredo Garcia, one of the alleged gunmen, and had two children with him.

Investigators say in the weeks leading up to the killing and immediately thereafter, there were hundreds of calls between Charles Adelson, Wendi Adelson's brother, and Magbanua and between Magbanua and Garcia, often moments apart. At the time of Markel's death, he and Wendi Adelson were fighting over issues including money and their children. Adelson and her family, including her brother and her parents, were trying to move Adelson and the kids, but Markel objected to the plan. Police documents say that the Adelsons' dental practice paid Magbanua numerous $407.58 checks between September 2014 and last January, though she allegedly never worked there. They also say that in the months leading up to the killing, she deposited $15,000 cash and then after the killing deposited more than $56,000. They say she also obtained a 2001 Lexus from the family and in a monitored phone call last April, police say she asked Charles Adelson for his Ferrari or his boat and mentioned she wanted an Escalade. (Read more murder stories.)

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