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The retrial of Katherine Magbanua begins Monday in Leon County

Alicia Devine, Pool
Tallahassee Democrat

Jury selection begins Monday in Leon County in the retrial of Katherine Magbanua. She is the alleged connection between the hitmen who killed FSU law professor Dan Markel and the person suspected of hiring them.

Magbanua is charged with first degree murder along with conspiracy and solicitation of murder.

Charlie Adelson is being held without bond for first degree murder and other charges in the 2014 murder-for-hire plot. He was arrested last month after prosecutors say newly enhanced audio from a chat in 2016 with Magbanua in a Miami restaurant incriminated him.

Undercover agents had recently handed Adelson's mother a flyer about the murder case, and prosecutors say he and Magbanua were discussing a potential blackmail situation. A Leon County grand jury indicted Adelson after hearing the new audio and seeing the transcripts.

Markel was Adelson’s ex-brother-in-law. Prosecutors say Adelson’s sister Wendi was battling Markel for custody of their two children when he was shot in his car in his Betton Hills garage.

Magbanua’s first trial ended when the jury deadlocked 10 – 2 on a guilty verdict. She previously dated and worked for Adelson, a Ft. Lauderdale dentist. One of the convicted gunmen, Sigfredo Garcia, is the father of Magbanua’s two children. The other convicted gunman, Luis Rivera, is Garcia’s childhood friend.

Prosecutors say the enhanced audio was the missing piece they needed to make an arrest in the murder plot.

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