Criminal Justice

Man is charged in death of law prof Dan Markel; case is reportedly investigated as murder for hire

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Sigfredo Garcia

Sigfredo Garcia. Broward Sheriff’s Office photo.

Updated: Police in Tallahassee, Florida, have arrested a man with a criminal record in the July 2014 shooting death of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel.

Police arrested Sigfredo Garcia, 34, on Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder and possession of cocaine, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Unidentified sources told the Tallahassee.Democrat that the case was being investigated as a murder for hire, and there could be as many as five or six additional arrests.

Garcia was arrested at a gas station in Hallandale Beach, Florida, at 9:11 p.m. on Wednesday, and police found drugs in a subsequent search, according to an arrest report cited by the Tallahassee Democrat.

Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said at a press conference on Thursday that probable cause documents in the case had been sealed to avoid impeding the ongoing investigation.

Markel was found in his car by a neighbor who heard a loud bang and found him bleeding. Markel had been shot in the head. Some had speculated his death could be linked to threatening posts by blog commenters or his involvement in a contentious case. Police had released a photo of a silver Prius captured on surveillance video that was seen in the area of the crime.

Garcia has a criminal history that included strong arm robbery and burglary, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Updated at 9:20 a..m. to report the case is reportedly under investigation as a murder for hire, at 10:25 a.m. to include arrest details, and at 10:50 a.m. to report on the press conference.

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