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Court date set for man accused in murder-for-hire plot against FSU professor

Sigfredo Garcia accused of shooting FSU law professor Dan Markel

Broward County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Sigfredo Garcia
Broward County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Sigfredo Garcia

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nearly three years after a Florida State University law professor was killed in an alleged murder-for-hire plot, a trial date has been set for the accused triggerman.

Sigfredo Garcia is tentatively set to go to court Jan. 22, three and a half years after he’s accused of shooting FSU law professor Dan Markel point blank in a $100,000 murder-for-hire plot.

Co-defendant Katherine Magbanua, the mother of Garcia’ s children, is accused of arranging the murder with the law professor's ex-wife's brother and mother.

"I don’t have any plan to make any arrests at this time -- additional arrests,” prosecutor Georgia Cappleman said.

Two cellmates of Garcia's told investigators that Garcia confessed to them.

Nicholas Atteridge, Garcia's cell mate, said Magbanua’s arrest hit Garcia hard.

“He wants to get word to (Magbanua) to do whatever she has to do to get out -- testify against him, give up the Adelsons,” Atteridge said.

A second cellmate, Jason McNair, said Garcia told him the ex-wife’s family paid for the hit.

“The Adelsons are the people who provided the money to Garcia,” McNair said.

Garcia’s attorney, Mutagee Akbar, said the testimony is worthless.

“Jailhouse snitches are not reliable, and anybody can tell you that,” Akbar said.

Documents given to defense attorneys show the investigation is still ongoing.

The January 2018 trial date is not set in stone. The defense says it's likely going to need more time.

Prosecutors have released several hours of undercover video showing the ex-brother-in-law meeting with Magbanua, then his father and mother. The video adds no conclusive evidence, but it does show the efforts law enforcement is making to close the case.

 

Getaway driver Luis Rivera agreed to testify and has told a story similar to that of Garcia’s cellmates. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison on unrelated charges after Markel's murder. He pleaded guilty to his role in Markel's murder and got an additional seven years.