If you’ve been following the Dan Markel case, then you’re definitely thinking to yourself, “Finally!” after reading the title of this post. Police in Tallahassee, Florida announced this morning that they have made an arrest in the murder of Florida State University Professor, Dan Markel. Police have arrested 34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia, of Miami Beach, and charged him with first-degree murder.
On July 18, 2014, 41-year-old Markel was shot execution-style at around 11 AM while sitting in his car in his garage, talking on the phone. A neighbor heard the loud bang, went over to Markel’s garage, discovered him bleeding from his head, and called 911.
Markel died after being transported to the hospital. The neighbor told police he/she saw a white or silver “Prius type of vehicle” leave the area.
There had been no signs of a struggle, nothing was taken from the home, and police told reporters they believe Markel was the “intended target.”
About Dan Markel
Dan Markel was a law professor at Florida State University College of Law, a law blogger, and most importantly, the father of two young sons.
To say Markel was loved might be an understatement, especially when looking at what a majority of his students and loved ones say. From People.com:
His students felt the same embrace, rising to the challenge of his “old-school, tough-as-nails” classroom presence, according to recent grad Ryan Wechsler, while also basking in his paternal side.
Indeed, Markel loved the Crayon drawings by his young sons, Ben, born in 2009, and Lincoln, born in 2010, that filled his office and home, to which the devoted dad invited small groups of students for home-cooked salmon dinners followed by academic debate. “His living room was like a playpen,” says Wechsler.
Markel co-founded a blog entitled PrawfsBlawg.com, which some people thought might have had something to do with his murder. In 2012, about two years prior to his death, Markel had reportedly received the following anonymous comment on his blog:
“Bullies like this need to be made radiative. Their arrogance and imperiousness speaks for itself. All means necessary must be employed.”
Was that a threat to Markel of what was yet to come? Could this person have wanted him dead, enough so to hire someone to kill him two years later? Or could this have been Sigfredo Garcia, the man who was just arrested and charged with his murder?
Or perhaps it was just an anonymous comment that meant nothing. Nowadays, you can find internet comments like that almost anywhere. Police have never said if the person who made the threat was ever traced, so we might never know – at least not yet.
It appeared to be no secret to anyone in Markel’s life that prior to his death he had gone through quite a difficult divorce.
Markel and Wendi Adelson had married in February 2006, their wedding announcement appearing in the New York Times in happier days.
In 2012, Adelson filed for divorce, and legal fights over child custody and finances ensued. Their divorce was finalized in 2013.
When I say contentious, I’m not kidding – Markel had obtained a court order preventing Adelson from leaving Tallahassee with their two children, after discovering that she wanted to move back to Miami.
A friend of Markel’s, Rick Hill, however, told the Toronto Star that he saw Markel two weeks prior to his death and that Markel “was moving on in his life” and was happy in a new relationship after going through his divorce.
After Markel’s murder, Adelson and their kids moved to south Florida. Through her lawyer, Adelson made a statement that she was cooperating fully with the police and that she was in fear of her life and would not be making any comment until the investigation was resolved.
More Arrests To Come?
As stated above, Sigfredo Garcia has been charged with the first degree murder of Dan Markel. He was reportedly arrested at 9:11 PM Wednesday night at a gas station in Hallandale Beach, just north of Miami.
Garcia definitely has a prior criminal record – he has reportedly been arrested at least 22 times, including arrests for strong arm robbery, burglary, drugs and concealed weapons violations.
The link between Markel and Garcia is still not known and at an earlier press conference today, authorities revealed that the probable cause document for Garcia’s arrest has been sealed.
The Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that more arrests are to come:
Law enforcement officials are investigating Florida State University law professor Dan Markel’s death as a murder for hire, according to two sources close to the investigation.
The sources add that more arrests are expected.
Another source said there could be as many as five or six additional arrests.
Garcia is being held in custody pending extradition to Leon County, where Tallahassee is located.
You can bet I’ll be posting updates here as they occur.
– Tallahassee Police Department Incident Report
– Tallahassee Police Department Incident Report 2
– A Prominent Law Professor Is Shot At Home And Killed
– Markel killing investigated as murder for hire, more arrests expected
– Father of FSU professor shot in the head in his garage finally speaks