Deliberations expected to begin Thursday in FSU professor's murder trial

By Mike Vasilinda - Tallahassee Bureau Chief

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Wednesday would have been slain Florida State University law professor Dan Markel’s 47th birthday. 

Before the jury went home in the afternoon, they were told to pack a bag. Deliberations are expected to begin Thursday.

Rumors about a plea deal swirled around the courthouse Wednesday morning. Those rumors were quashed when defendant Katherine Magbanua took the stand. 

She’s accused of being the conduit between her codefendant and ex-husband, and the family of the slain professors ex-wife.

“Did you have anything to do with the murder of Dan Markel?” asked Magbanua’s attorney, Tara Kwass.

“No mam,” Magbanua replied.

"Did you get the father of your two children, Mr. Garcia, to commit a murder on behalf of Mr. Charlie Adelson?” Kwass continued.

“No mam,” Magbanua answered.

Her lawyers tried to lay the defense that accused trigger man Sigfredo Garcia could have been selling drugs to Charlie Adelson and didn’t need her as a go-between.

“Did Mr. Adelson ever do illicit drugs in front of you?” asked Magbanua’s second attorney, Chris DeCoste.

“Yes,” Magbanua replied.

When it was prosecutor Georgia Cappleman's turn, she drilled down on why Magbanua might not have taken a plea deal.

“Isn’t it true you”ve been offered some kind of big payoff if you refuse to cooperate against Charlie Adelson?” Cappleman asked.

“If I refused? No mam,” Magbanua replied.

“Has anybody offered you some money?” Cappleman asked.

“No,” Magbanua replied. 

“Do you remember telling anybody that you would be able to stay home after you get acquitted and have a tutor for your kids to be home schooled at the house?” Cappleman asked.

“No,” Magbanua replied.

The lawyer for Katherine Magbanua said it was her client's decision to take the stand.

Wednesday was the first day Dan Markel's parents have not been at the trial since it began as they observed Yom Kippur.

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