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Luis Rivera takes witness stand on Day 3 of Dan Markel murder trial

Posted at 7:06 AM, Oct 02, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A big day of testimony in the murder trial of Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel.

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

Two key witnesses took the stand, including one of the most, if not the most important witness for the prosecution.

Luis Rivera took the stand Tuesday testifying that he was there when Markel was shot. Rivera says he drove to Tallahassee with Sigfredo Garcia to "kill the man."

Rivera was the third person charged in Dan Markel's murder. He accepted a plea deal in 2016.

As part of the deal, he agreed to testify against the defendants Katherine Magbanua and Sigfredo Garcia.

Rivera laid out what happened before, during, and after Dan Markel's murder before the court.

Rivera started off by saying he's only in court to tell the truth, not a story spoon fed to him by the state as both defense attorneys alleged. Rivera said he's known Sigfredo Garcia since they were 5 or 6 years old.

He said Garcia told him he needed help with a job in Tallahassee and Rivera agreed, thinking it was going to be a burglary. He found out during the drive up to Tallahassee from Miami that they were going to kill a man because of his kids.

The two decided to not commit the crime because Markel had his kids with him, but they did return about a month later to finish the job.

Jeffrey LaCasse also took the stand Tuesday. He is the ex-boyfriend of Dan Markel's ex-wife Wendi Adelson.

He testified that right after Wendi was ordered to stay in Tallahassee during the divorce, she told him that her brother Charlie was exploring options to handle it.

He says one of those options was killing Dan Markel for either $15,000 or $50,000. He said he couldn't remember the exact amount.

LaCasse and Adelson broke up in 2013, not long before Markel was murdered.

During his testimony, LaCasse said that Adelson told police he could have been involved in the case. He was ultimately cleared by investigators.

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