Killer sentenced to just seven years in plea deal in murder-for-hire of FSU professor that police believe was bank rolled by the victim’s former in-laws

Florida State University professor Daniel Markel was killed in his garage in Tallahassee in July 2014A murderer who was allegedly hired to kill a well-known Florida law professor has pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement that prosecutors in Tallahassee say was necessary in order to hand down indictments against other co-conspirators.

Luis Rivera, who is already serving a 12-year sentence in federal prison for an unrelated charge, was sentenced to an additional seven years behind bars as part of a plea deal he agreed to at a hearing.

Prior to his hearing on Tuesday, Rivera was facing first-degree murder charges, which carries a maximum penalty of death. Instead, he has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman said that Rivera’s cooperation will help authorities piece together more clues and eventually make more arrests in the case.

‘It’s a necessary evil,’ Cappleman said. ‘Otherwise, you’re looking at the possibility of other culpable parties not facing any ramifications for their role in the crime.’

Authorities had said that Rivera and another man, Sigfredo Garcia, traveled from South Florida to Tallahassee in July 2014 and gunned down Florida State University professor Daniel Markel in his garage in the middle of the day.

Garcia has pleaded not guilty.

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