Woman Is 3rd Person Charged in Execution-Style Slaying of FSU Law Professor Dan Markel
Katherine Magbanua is accused of helping facilitate the execution-style killing
Authorities have charged a Florida woman with first-degree murder for her alleged role in the 2014 execution-style fatal shooting of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel.
Katherine Magbanua, 31, was arrested in October on second-degree murder charges. According to court records viewed by PEOPLE, a grand jury indicted her of first-degree murder on Tuesday.
One of the alleged killers, Luis Rivera, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last month in exchange for testifying against his alleged co-conspirators. The other alleged killer, Sigfredo Garcia, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges. He faces the death penalty if convicted.
In probable cause affidavits from the Tallahassee Police Department obtained by PEOPLE in September, Magbanua is one of four people listed as “responsible for the murder of Daniel Markel.” Investigators allege in the documents that Magbuana’s boyfriend at the time, Charlie Adelson, organized a murder-for-hire plot that led to Markel’s killing.
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However, Charlie Adelson has not been charged with a crime, and his attorney, David Oscar Markus, has denied the allegations to PEOPLE.
Magbuana is alleged to have introduced Adelson to Garcia and Rivera, according to the affidavit.
In a statement to CBS affiliate WCTV, a lawyer for Magbuana says that her client is innocent.
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“Because Katie has maintained the truth, that she is innocent and had nothing to do with this, the prosecution has decided to tighten the screws a little more,” Attorney Tara Kawass said in a statement. “That’s how they broke Rivera and got him to lie. But Katie is much stronger than that thug. Plus, she has the truth on her side. That’s a powerful ally.”