Local News

Grand jury indicts two on murder charges

— A Highlands County grand jury has indicted two men in connection with different murder cases.

The grand jury indicted both Sadar Sadatt Hutchinson of Lake Placid and Phillip Justin Markland, 30, of Sebring on first-degree murder charges, Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin said this week.

Hutchinson was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Marcos Garcia-Rangel, 36, following an argument in the lounge at Platters Restaurant in Lake Placid. Lake Placid police said the two were friends before the argument.

Garcia-Rangel died from a single gunshot wound to the head, the report said.

In the other case, Markland was indicted in connection with the execution-style murder of his uncle, Thomas Markland. Authorities said that Phillip Markland had arrived at a family gathering. After the arrival, authorities received a call from the uncle that he had shot his nephew in self-defense.

But during that call, authorities allege, Phillip Markland retrieved a gun and shot his uncle numerous times from behind.

An affidavit said that the nephew claimed to be Jesus Christ and told people he was going to “take everyone home.”


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