TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Does The Prosecution Believe (And Can It Prove) That Wendi Adelson (And Not Charlie Or Donna) Hired Katherine Magbanua And Sigfredo Garcia To Kill Dan Markel?

AdelsonFollowing up on Sunday's post, Judge Denies Bond For Katherine Magbanua, Charged With First Degree Murder In Killing Of Dan Markel:  commenters to several websites claim that the prosecution at the bond hearing said in "closing arguments [that] 'Wendi Adelson' hired [Katherine Magbanua] and [Sigfredo Garcia] to commit the murder. No mention of Donna or Charlie [Adelson]. This was important because of all the speculation prior that Wendi was unaware and this murderous act was carried out on her behalf without her knowledge. The prosecution made a crystal clear point that Wendi ordered the hit."

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/12/does-the-prosecution-believe-and-can-it-prove-that-wendi-adelson-and-not-charlie-or-donna-hired-kath.html

Legal Education | Permalink

Comments

The prosecution is probably just being sloppy, and referring to Wendi when they really mean Wendi's family. For the most part, we have seen their evidence, which is described in the PC Affidavits. It almost all pertains to Charlie and the mother. The only evidence I have seen against Wendi is the hearsay statement from Magbanua that she was in the area on the day before the murder to make sure it got done.

Now, if Magbanua flips, I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised to find out Wendi was involved. But for now, I assume this is just another incompetent statement from the Prosecutors, who have bungled this case in pathetic fashion for the last five months.

Posted by: JM | Dec 14, 2016 7:32:07 AM

My guess: During negotiations for a plea deal, Magbanua told prosecutors everything. They can't use any of it unless and until an agreement is reached. She wants a lower sentence than prosecutors are willing to offer, so prosecutors are playing chicken with her by going to trial. She should be more flexible after conviction.

Posted by: AMTbuff | Dec 14, 2016 8:00:12 AM

@JM Exact quote from prosecutor Georgia Cappleman as quoted in the Democrat:
"Katie was the one who was hiring them to come to Tallahassee and commit the murder on behalf of Wendi so she could have the children all to herself.”

Posted by: Plop | Dec 14, 2016 8:21:48 AM

I was a cop for thirty years before selling my soul to become a tax attorney. I think AMTbuff is exactly correct. Prior to a flip there are often negotiations conducted under the umbrella of plea bargain protection, and the facts of this case, such as they are presented, create the ideal opportunity. And playing chicken is a really apt description of the tension between prosecutors and a witness who still possesses leverage pre-conviction.

Posted by: Tim | Dec 14, 2016 11:07:09 AM

Can anyone tell if she sheds actual tears in the interrogation video?

Posted by: SomeGuy | Dec 14, 2016 11:12:45 AM

@SomeGuy - Wendi seems like she's trying to contain glee not tears behind her hands.

Posted by: Sam | Dec 15, 2016 8:55:21 AM

Cui bono? Occam's Razor says it's Wendi.

Posted by: G Joubert | Dec 15, 2016 9:36:36 AM

A lawyerly reminder to express your comments as opinions such that Wendi can't pursue you for defamation.

https://abovethelaw.com/2016/12/the-dan-markel-case-watch-your-words-about-wendi-adelson/

Posted by: CC | Dec 20, 2016 10:12:49 AM