High-profile Big Bend cases to watch in 2018

High-profile cases to look out for in 2018 (Stephen 5 p.m.)
High-profile cases to look out for in 2018 (Stephen 5 p.m.)
Posted at 1:53 PM, Jan 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-01 13:26:07-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A number of high-profile cases in the Big Bend are scheduled this year, but will they finally be decided?

There's really no way to know for sure as we've seen with certain cases.

The time it takes to dig through all the evidence, the changing of judges and attorneys, it all factors into some major cases that are scheduled to be heard this year.

More than three years after FSU professor Dan Markel was murdered, the search for justice continues. Alleged triggerman Sigfredo Garcia has been in and out of court more than a dozen times.

His trial was supposed to start this month, but it's been pushed back six more months. Prosecutors explained in June why this trial is taking a while to happen.

"Murder cases frequently get continued, so there's lots of reasons that can happen," said Georgia Cappleman, the deputy assistant state attorney."This is an ungangly beast that we're trying to wrangle."

Garcia is expected back in court Jan. 3, the same day as Katherine Magbanua, also charged in Markel's murder. Her trial is scheduled for Jan. 22. Her attorneys have maintained the state has a weak case.

"They were just proved wrong," said Christopher DeCoste, a defense attorney. "They're making these accusations based on little pieces of information and trying to connect imaginary dots with invisible lines."

This month, a new grand jury is expected to look at the death investigation of FSU student Andrew Coffey. In December, a previous grand jury found enough evidence to move forward with criminal charges.

"Obviously, we have a young man who died too soon," said Jack Campbell, the state attorney for Florida's 2nd Judicial Circuit. "It's a tragedy to lose his life, and I have promised his parents I'm going to do everything in my power to find out that truth."

In February, a quadruple murder case goes back to trial. Last summer, Henry Segura finally had his day in court, but after three grueling weeks, it ended in a mistrial.

"We wanted Henry to walk out of here with us, so we're going to do everything we can to make that happen next time," said Nathan Prince, who is the lead defense attorney in the case.

"We're obviously seeking justice for Ms. Peters and her children, but we will be trying this again and trying to get justice in the long run," said Jon Fuchs, an assistant state attorney.

Just because these are scheduled to start this year doesn't mean they actually will. The Markel and Segura cases are several years old, but we'll be following them closely as usual.