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Sigfredo Garcia's Trial Delayed Again

Sigfredo Garcia
Posted at 11:41 AM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-17 18:28:49-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - The trial of Sigfredo Garcia, the man accused of killing FSU professor Dan Markel, will not begin in November as originally scheduled.

Monday, a Leon County circuit judge granted Garcia's attorneys more time to review evidence.

Lead defense attorney Saam Zangeneh said his team received wire taps in late September and did not feel ready to proceed with the scheduled trial date of November 14.

After Luis Rivera accepted a deal last week for a reduced sentence to plead guilty to second-degree murder, he became eligible to become a witness for the prosecution in future hearings involving the Markel murder.

This agreement, Zangeneh said, forced the defense to rethink its strategy.

"We are still waiting on all the evidence to see all the statements that [Rivera] gave," Zangeneh said. "We're still waiting to get information, and then once we get this information, we now have to conduct the defense investigation against this individual -- because, prior to this, he was a co-defendant, as opposed to a state witness."

In exchange for the additional time, Garcia agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial.

Prosecutors said they were ready for trial next month. Assistant state attorney Georgia Cappleman also addressed a recently released email from Markel's family about the welfare of his children -- in case any family members are charged.

"There are no other arrests pending right now," Cappleman said. "I just want to be as prepared as possible in the event of such a thing -- to cover all the bases and make sure that the children are taken care of -- but, no, there's nothing else pending right now."

Both sides will return to court on December 6, where they'll work to reschedule the trial date.