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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Experts Expect Charlie And Donna Adelson To Be Charged In Dan Markel's Murder

Adelson FamilyVice, ​Who Put the Hit Out on a Florida Criminal Justice Professor?:

In the hours before and after Dan Markel was shot in the head outside his home in Tallahassee, Florida, two years ago, his former brother-in-law Charlie Adelson called a paramour, Katherine "Katie" Magbanua, at least nine times. While the conversations were not recorded, the phone calls are among several key pieces of evidence cops believe connect Adelson and his lover to the two men they've formally accused of actually killing Markel, according to a recent probable cause affidavit charging Magbanua with orchestrating the Florida State professor's murder. ...

"I believe and investigators believe that at one point [Magbanua] called Charlie to tell him the deal is done," Leon County County state attorney William "Willie" Meggs told me recently over the phone. "What proof do we have? None at the moment. It will probably come, but we are not there yet."

Sigfredo Garcia, the alleged triggerman who has two children with Magbanua, and Luis Rivera—an ex-leader of the Latin Kings who allegedly drove the getaway car—were arrested for Markel's murder last May. But Meggs's comments reflect the intricate and meticulous approach he and investigators have taken in unraveling the web behind Markel's homicide, even as criminal defense experts canvassed by VICE say the veteran state prosecutor has the goods to criminally charge Adelson. ...

"Many murder cases go forward on far less information that Tallahassee police have obtained in the Markel case," said Melissa Hamilton, visiting criminal law scholar at the University of Houston Law Center. "There is significant evidence against the [ex-wife's] brother and one of the parents to bring charges. A lot of it is circumstantial, but that is OK." ...

The combination of the phone records, the money going into Magbanua's account and the undercover surveillance work should be enough to press charges against Charlie and Donna Adelson, according to law scholar Hamilton. "There is no single piece of evidence that's a smoking gun, but all together there is plenty," she told me. "And now they have a confession [from Rivera] that connects the dots even further."

Meanwhile, Mark Geragos, a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer whose past clients include singers Chris Brown, Usher, and Michael Jackson, said prosecutors agreeing to a plea deal that allows a murder suspect to go from facing the death penalty to only seven years is unheard of. This suggests to him that Meggs has confidence Rivera is a credible witness. "I'm surprised they haven't filed charges against the ex-wife's brother," Geragos said. "My guess is they are moving cautiously and sequentially. Obviously, they have a boatload of evidence against the two who were initially arrested."

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/10/experts-expect-charlie-and-donna-adelson-to-be-charged-in-dan-markels-murder.html

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Comments

For those that have been following the case, DA Willie is quite a trip. Basically hasn't supported police investigation, still hems & haws, etc. Look for all this to be an issue at trial. Nice going, DA Wille.

Posted by: tuphat | Oct 30, 2016 12:27:27 PM

Many murder cases go forward on far less information that Tallahassee police have obtained in the Markel case," said Melissa Hamilton, visiting criminal law scholar at the University of Houston Law Center. "There is significant evidence against the [ex-wife's] brother and one of the parents to bring charges. A lot of it is circumstantial, but that is OK." ..

Wow, digging rather deep to get a visiting scholar to make a meaningless remark. Well why not, after all, Wendi Adelson is a Truman Scholar. And really, Geragos?

Posted by: Diogenes | Oct 31, 2016 6:18:35 AM

Lol it's Vice, not NLJ. At this point we're just waiting for Magbanua to flip.

Posted by: Grant | Oct 31, 2016 9:06:41 AM

Unheard of for a murder suspect getting 7 years? He must not be well read. In Miami, home of the Adelson's, the Canadian counselor's son effectively got time served and a boot camp sentence before being deported to Canada after facing a first degree murder charge in a drug deal gone bad:
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/09/26/marc-wabafiyebazu-ottawa_n_12194730.html

Posted by: Jokert | Oct 31, 2016 12:17:44 PM

Garcia didn't get 7 years for the murder. He received 17, 10 of which runs concurrently with another conviction. Not a light sentence for someone who wasn't the trigger man.

Posted by: Gil Franco | Nov 3, 2016 8:19:10 AM

Whoops, meant Rivera not Garcia above.

Posted by: Gil Franco | Nov 4, 2016 9:00:10 PM