A Florida woman planned the assassination of a law school professor and relative of her boyfriend. Now, she will never walk free again.
Recently, Circuit Judge Robert Wheeler sentenced Katherine Magbanua, 38, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the shooting death of Daniel “Danny” Markel, 41. Magbanua was found guilty and convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.
On July 18, 2014, officers responded to Markel’s Florida home after his neighbor heard a gunshot and saw a small silver-colored Toyota Prius fleeing from the driveway. Upon arrival, authorities found the victim with two gunshot wounds to the head while still sitting in his car.
Markel was rushed to the hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
"Eight years he has not been with us and in those eight years we continue to suffer. We continue to grieve," said Markel’s sister, Shelly Markel reported WFSU.
Markel had been in a bitter divorce proceeding with his ex-wife Wendi Adelson. At the time, Magbanua was in a relationship with Adelson’s brother, Dentist Charles Adelson. As a result, Magbanua contracted hitmen Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera to kill Danny Markel.
Magbanua had two children with Garcia.
According to prosecutors, Markel had dropped his children off at daycare before making his way to the gym. Unbeknown to the victim, Garcia and Rivera followed him home, where they fatally shot him.
In 2016, investigators identified and arrested Garcia and Rivera as the perpetrators responsible for the Florida State University law professor’s assassination. Later, Garcia was found guilty and convicted by a jury of first-degree murder, while Rivera pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Though Magbanua was arrested in 2018, it took another four years for authorities to indict Charles Adelson for the murder.
“Dan Markel was brutally murdered more than eight years ago. We are grateful for the efforts of law enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office in advancing the criminal case against Charles Adelson and in continuing to pursue all those responsible for Dan’s murder,” stated Attorneys Orin Snyder and Matt Benjamin in a statement, according to New York Post.
Wheeler sentenced the defendant to additional 60 years in prison, to be served consecutively to the life sentences.