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Woman Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole for Her Role in Assassination of FSU Law Professor



The woman who helped plot and carry out the assassination of a law school professor will spend the rest of her life behind bars.

Katherine Magbanua, 38, who was convicted in May of helping murder professor Dan Markel, 41, in 2014, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“You will be sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for probation or parole,” Circuit Judge Robert Wheeler told Magbanua at her sentencing hearing on Friday.

As Wheeler read the sentence, Magbuana appeared to dab her face or eyes with a tissue, but she remained relatively stoic otherwise.

The life sentence was for her conviction on a first-degree murder charge. She also received two consecutive 30-year sentences for charges of solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Wheeler granted a request from Magbanua’s defense attorney Tara Kawass that a public defender be appointed for purposes of appeal.

According to prosecutors, Magbanua conspired with her then-boyfriend Charlie Adelson to kill Markel, who had gone through an ugly divorce from Adleson’s sister, Wendi Adelson. Authorities said Charlie used Magbanua to get Sigfredo Garcia, the father of Magbanua’s children, to carry out the killing.

Markel, a law professor at Florida State University, was attacked at his home on July 18, 2014; he died one day after being shot twice in the face.

Garcia and Magbanua were first tried together in 2019. The jury convicted Garcia but remained deadlocked on Magbanua, who was later convicted on retrial.

Charlie Adleson has been indicted in connection with Markel’s murder.

[Image via Law&Crime screengrab.]

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