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Pretrial hearing held before jury selection in Magbanua's second trial

Jury selection scheduled to begin Monday
Posted at 7:51 PM, May 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 10:31:09-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Just days before jury selection, attorneys, the judge and Katherine Magbanua herself met in a Leon County courtroom for last minute housekeeping Friday.

Magbanua is charged with helping facilitate Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel's murder in July 2014.

Before the trial starts, the jury selection process is held.

There's three separate jury selection groups schedule for Monday morning, Monday afternoon, and Tuesday morning.

The main goal; finding a jury that will be able to put what they might know about the trial aside and hear the case with impartial ears.

"I'll be in there and ask questions in regards to publicity and what their knowledge is about the case," judge Robert Wheeler said.

Once the jury is sat, a key difference compared to the last trial; no questions from the jury.

Meaning if a juror is unclear of a point brought up by a witness, they won't get it answered this go around.

Also different this go around; transcripts from a wire tapped called between Magbanua and Charlie Adelson.

Adelson was Dan Markel's ex brother-in-law who is now charged with his murder as well.

From the defense's side, a request to the judge to prohibit any use of transcripts from that phone call.

Similar to their request to throw out transcripts of the Dolce Vita video; secretly shot by an FBI agent while Adelson and Magbanua had lunch at a restaurant.

Wheeler said he would be consistent with his prior ruling.

"It's the same situation that we're dealing with an audio that needs to be authenticated. It can only be authenticated, from my research on the law, either by the speakers or some type of expert," Wheeler said.

A mistrial was declared in Magbanua's first trial in Oct. 2019.