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Dan Markel's mother takes the stand during sentencing phase

Posted at 7:10 AM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 09:52:58-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Attorneys in the Dan Markel murder case are set to give their closing arguments in the sentencing phase of the trial Tuesday.

MARKEL MURDER TRIAL | Everything you need to know | Watch trial LIVE | Read live updates | Recap of each day in court

Jurors returned to court Monday afternoon to decide if Sigfredo Garcia will spend life in prison with no parole or if he'll be put to death.

Last Friday, that jury found him guilty of killing Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel.

Jurors listened to more witness testimony Monday in order to get a clearer picture of whether Sigfredo Garcia should be put to death or not.

That witness testimony went beyond the crime, instead taking a more personal approach.

A psychologist took the stand to talk about Sigfredo Garcia's mental health and his childhood. But that wasn't the only person who we leaned more about.

Dan Markel's mother spoke to jurors about her son.

The Markel family has been in the courtroom since day one of the trial, but Monday was the first time jurors heard from the family.

The family wrote a statement. Ruth Markel read it aloud, focusing on her son and the legacy that he left behind.

Dan Markel studied at Harvard as well as Cambridge and a college in Jerusalem. He accomplished his dreams of traveling while talking about law.

But the Markel's said that his murder rocked their family. It was a harsh introduction to the real world for his nieces and nephews.

Ruth Markel even said it felt like she was given a life sentence when her son was killed.

"The grief and pain of a mother never ends. For me, closure and normalcy are just words in a dictionary, not a reality that I will ever experience again. The losses sustained and the damage caused by this crime can not be overstated," said Ruth.

A psychologist spoke more about the man convicted of killing Markel. She said Garcia's father was in and out of jail while he was growing up, ultimately fleeing to Mexico to avoid prison when Garcia was 12.

She spoke about the time Garcia was shot in the lungs and almost died, a moment she says gave him PTSD.

And she said that Katherine Magbanua was emotionally and physically abusive in their relationship.

Closing statements and deliberation start Tuesday.

Katherine Magbanua's case management hearing for her retrial is scheduled for October 22.

To watch the trial live, click here. If you missed something in court, you can see our daily recaps here.