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Confessions from accused getaway driver in FSU professor murder

Alleged spotting of ex-wife adds a new twist to murder case

Dan Markel

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A recorded confession by the accused getaway driver in the murder-for-hire of an Florida State University law professor appears to indicate that the ex-wife was aware of the alleged plan before it was carried out -- proving the claim may come down to how much the latest person charged in the case cooperates.

Katie Magbanua is the mother of two children fathered by accused shooter Sigfredo Garcia, 32. He was brought to Tallahassee on Monday after being charged earlier this month the with murder of law professor Dan Markel.

Magbanua was arrested when accused getaway driver Luis Rivera started talking.

"Katie is the one in the middle doing everything. Put it like that," Rivera said. 

Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said Magbanua is the key to tying the law professor’s ex-wife’s family to the murder plot.

"If I was to be able to charge a member of the family as being implicated as part of the conspiracy, I would require a witness, possibly such as Ms. Magbanua," Cappleman said. 

Rivera told investigators he learned early on the motive for the supposed hit.

"That lady wants her two kids back. She wants full custody of the kids," said Rivera.

As Rivera and Garcia allegedly cruised the neighborhood the day before the homicide, Rivera told investigators they saw Wendi Adelson walking with her two kids.

“I think if it’s true, it implicates her, but I haven’t been able to confirm or deny that,” Cappleman said. 

As a result of the taped confession, investigators say they may now know the three co-conspirators divided up $100,000 the day after the alleged murder.

Police have long suspected the law professor's former brother-in-law and his parents in the conspiracy, but the addition of the ex-wife in the new testimony has come as a surprise to many close to the case.