Trial begins 5 years after FSU professor Dan Markel’s murder: Part 9

Wendi Adelson testified that her brother joked about hiring a hitman to kill her ex-husband Dan Markel. She also says on the stand that her brother dated defendant Katherine Magbanua.
7:12 | 10/12/19

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Transcript for Trial begins 5 years after FSU professor Dan Markel’s murder: Part 9
Outside it's pretty typical tallhassee weather, about 100 degrees, incredibly humid, painfully hot. But inside the courtroom, it's freezing. The courtroom is beyond frigid. I saw people bringing in blankets and jackets to keep themselves warm because it's so cold in there. Dan Markel's parents have waited five long years for justice. Everybody be seated, please. And they're sitting just a few feet away from Katie magbanua and sigfredo Garcia. Dan Markel, father of two young boys, was shot twice in the head, in his own garage in broad daylight. Who would do such a thing? Two people are on trial for the murder of Dan Markel. And the prosecution pulls no punches in the opening statement. They're promising the jury we'll lay this whole thing out for you. Not only are you gonna learn these two sought and were hired to kill Dan Markel, we're going to tell you why. Wendi Adelson had a problem, and her problem was named Dan Markel. And the solution to that problem was magbanua, Rivera, and Garcia. I believe that you will be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Katherine magbanua was hired to solicit Garcia to come to Tallahassee and to execute Mr. Markel in cold blood. Keep in mind, Katie has now been sitting in jail for three years. She was offered a deal that could let her walk out. You'd think if she had anything to spill or dish about who might have hired her she would have done it by now. To save her own skin. To be with her kids. But she hasn't done that. They are so desperate to get Charles Adelson they want to arrest her because that's our way to get to Charlie, so now three years later, she is sitting here accused of a crime that she did not commit. And at the end of this case you are going to see that the only thing she is guilty of is having horrible taste in men. The first few witnesses are called to effectively set the scene. A neighbor who hears something, the first officer to arrive, the person who was on the phone with Dan Markel when he was shot. He said, can you please hold on a second. There is an unfamiliar person in my driveway. But then, day two. It's Friday afternoon and jaws just start dropping in that courtroom. The prosecution calls a very reluctant witness. When Wendi Adelson walked into the courtroom to take the stand, I immediately sent out an email to everyone in the newsroom, like, okay, Dan Markel's ex-wife is about to testify. How does she feel about the fact that the state is saying her family is involved in this murder? Does your family have a dental practice in south Florida? They do. Is your family in south Florida wealthy? Are you asking me to speculate? No, I'm asking if they're wealthy. If you don't know, you just say you don't know. It depends how you define wealthy. Is that fair to say that your brother is very protective of you? I think that's fair to say. Now, Wendi starts to get grilled about her older brother, Charlie. In fact, there are so many questions asked about Charlie Adelson that it almost seems like he is the one on trial. Did he ever joke about he looked into hiring a hit man, but buying you a TV as a divorce present would be cheaper? He did make that joke. And then the prosecution breaks out that photograph that reveals a curious link between Wendi Adelson and Katie magbanua. Do you know Katherine magbanua? I have met her before. I'm going to show you what I've marked as state's exhibit 36. Is that a photograph of you and Katherine magbanua at the beach? With her friend, yeah. And did you say how you know Ms. Magbanua? She was dating my brother. This picture becomes an important moment. She just established for the jury the first clear link between her family and the accused murderers. So here's what prosecutors do next. They call Wendi's ex-boyfriend, Jeff Lacasse. And when he takes the stand, he testifies that Wendi was desperate to leave Tallahassee, and how her brother Charlie had talked about taking care of, quote, "The problem." She said that Charlie had explored all options to take care of the problem and that he had looked into having professor Markel killed. My stomach kind of flipped. It was, like, a chilling statement. It is now day three of the trial and prosecutors call their star witness. Luis Rivera is on the stand. He's testified he was there when Markel was shot. He's the guy who confessed to police that he drove to Tallahassee with sigfredo Garcia for that hit on Dan Markel, and he has now agreed to testify for the prosecution. Did he have any information about who it was you were coming to Tallahassee to kill? Yes, ma'am. Dan Markel. Who was supposed to be the shooter on this first trip? I was gonna be the shooter. And did y'all return to Tallahassee on July 16th, 2014? Yes, ma'am. And what happened once you pulled into his driveway? As soon as I pulled in, Garcia jumped out, went to the driver's side and shot him. He shot Mr. Markel? Yes, ma'am. How many times? Twice. Do you see the person in the courtroom who shot Mr. Markel? Yes, ma'am. Could you please point that person out? What color is the shirt? Blue. And did you get the money the next day? Yes, ma'am. Who gave you the money? Garcia. All right, and tell us about the money. How was it packaged? All hundreds, they were stapled. Stapled? $1,000 stapled. Each one of them. All right. So Garcia hired you to do a murder, didn't he? Yes, ma'am. And who hired him? The Adelson family. Do you see the person in the courtroom that you say hired sigfredo Garcia to do this homicide? The only one I seen is Katie. The witness has identified defendant magbanua. No further questions. Your honor, at this time the defense calls Katherine magbanua. Katie magbanua broke her silence. For more than four hours Wednesday Katherine magbanua took the stand in her own defense. She's facing life in prison. Lays]

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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