TALLAHASSEE, Florida (WTXL) – Woman accused of orchestrating the murder of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel once again demands her freedom as she awaits her next trial nearly a year after a jury has not been in able to make a decision about her fate.
In October 2019, a jury could not decide whether Katherine Magbanua was guilty of connecting her children’s father with her then-boyfriend to kill Dan Markel.
“She was in front of a qualified jury for death that couldn’t even make a conspiracy decision to commit murder,” Kawass said. “She is presumed innocent and has been for the past four years. She remains in custody. For this reason this is considered a motion that the court must immediately consider. That presumption of innocence and the evidence in this case.”
His lawyers say he has testified truthfully, cooperated fully, and is addressing delays caused by COVID-19 while his brother is raising his children.
“If you look, she is the longest incarcerated woman in Leon County Jail,” Kawass said. “It’s been there for over 1,400 days.”
Now they ask her to be released until the new trial date.
The release would include GPS tracking but would allow her to return home to Miami.
A 31-page court document calling for release states: “there is no evidence that Magbanua is a flight risk.”
It arises from other similar cases in which the bond release and the preliminary release are reviewed after a long term in prison.
“There isn’t a piece of evidence that you can hang your hat on and say, ‘Yes, he did,'” Kawass said.
In October, a jury found his children’s father, Sigfredo Garcia, guilty of killing Dan Markel.
But that same jury failed to come to a conclusion about Magbanua’s involvement.
Markel’s family released a statement in July calling for more justice, saying in part, “We understand that a fair trial requires patience. Our wait for justice has been long and continuous. We pray that this next stage of the legal process takes place. quickly and that everyone responsible for Dan’s murder is held accountable. “
Magbanua’s next hearing is December 3. It is then that the trial date should be set.
The state attorney’s office now has 30 days to respond to the request.