Jury selection begins for Markel murder trial

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - Five years after an FSU Law Professor was murdered in his garage in what police believe was a murder for hire, jury selection for two defendants began Monday.

They have already summoned 750 jurors for jury duty. (MGN)

Prosecutors said a custody battle was at the center of the murder.

In July 2014, FSU Law Professor Dan Markel pulled into his garage.

He was shot twice at point blank range.

The case went cold, until police identified the getaway car from surveillance video.

Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera were charged with the murder for hire.

Rivera, already in prison, cut a deal implicating the mother of Garcia’s children.

Police believe Katie Magbanua arranged the hit.

She once worked for and dated Markel's ex-wive's brother Charlie.

In a dramatic sting operation video an undercover police officer is seen handing a note to Charlie's mother, Donna Adelson.

The note has a phone number, Rivera’s picture and the number five thousand.

What followed was a series of conversations that prosecutors believe traces the conspiracy from Markel's former mother-in-law to the hitman.

“When information about the death of Dan Markel is handed to one co-conspirator, it travels down the line in a certain fashion,” said prosecutor Georgia Cappleman.

750 people have been summoned for jury duty.

They were brought in, in groups of 50.

In the first batch called, three out of four said a four week trial would be a hardship.

“It’s okay if a juror has heard of the case as long as they have not formed a definite opinion about the guilt of the defendant,” said Cappleman.

No members of the Adelson Family have been charged.

Markel's ex-wife Wendy is expected to testify.

She took the fifth amendment several times during a deposition.

The state is seeking the death penalty against the alleged hit man but not the woman who is accused of arranging the hit.