Saturday, December 17, 2016
'The Prosecution Does Not Believe That Wendi Ordered The Hit' On Dan Markel
Following up on Wednesday's post, 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?: David Lat (Above the Law), The Dan Markel Case: Slow Your Roll On Wendi Adelson:
[I]s Wendi a murderess? I have defended her against speculation that she knew about or was involved in Danny’s killing, but I know that many readers hold different opinions. ...
[A] number of readers have excitedly shared with me this account of last Friday’s bail hearing for Katherine Magbanua, posted over at Websleuths by “reallybusy,” who attended in person. The juiciest part:
The prosecution made it a point to say in closing arguments “Wendi Adelson” hired KM and SG to commit the murder. No mention of Donna or Charlie. 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.
This claim has been picked up by writers and commenters on several other widely read blogs, including TaxProf Blog (Paul Caron) and Jonathan Turley (in the comments). But is it an accurate representation of what the prosecution claimed at the hearing?
Alas, no. I reached out to Georgia Cappleman, the prosecutor who delivered the closing statement in question. She said the correct version of her comment is what appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat:
It was always clear to [Rivera] that Katie [Magbanua] was the link to the Adelsons. 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.
Looking at this wording, with the word “hiring” in close proximity to “Wendi,” one can easily see how a listener — especially a “motivated” listener, i.e., someone believing in Wendi’s guilt — could have heard the prosecution accusing Wendi. But that’s not what Cappeleman said at last Friday’s bond hearing. As Cappleman explained to me, summarizing her prior in-court statements:
Rivera believed he was being hired by Wendi Adelson to kill Markel and that the murder was for her benefit. However, he had no direct communication with Wendi. Rather, this is his belief based on the circumstances and what [fellow defendant Sigfredo] Garcia told him.
I do not have any evidence that Wendi ordered the hit other than Rivera’s belief. ...
The prosecution does not believe Wendi ordered the hit, at least not at the current time, and the source who reported otherwise is not 100 percent sure of what he or she heard.
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Man Arrested In Murder Of Dan Markel (May 26, 2016)
- Dan Markel Killing Investigated As Murder for Hire, 5-6 More Arrests Expected (May 26, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (May 31, 2016)
- Police: Dan Markel Was Killed In Murder-For-Hire Plot Orchestrated By Ex-Wife's Brother (June 2, 2016)
- Anatomy Of The Hit On Dan Markel (June 4, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 6, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson Discusses Her Ex-Husband Dan Markel's Murder: Transcript And Commentary (June 8, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Law Prof Colleagues Finger Ex-Wife's Family In Murder-For-Hire Killing (June 10, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death (June 13, 2016)
- Grand Jury Indicts Two Hit Men In Dan Markel's Murder, State Attorney Expects More Indictments; Girlfriend Of Ex-Brother-in-Law Denies Ex-Wife's Family's Involvement (June 18, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: In Defense Of Charlie Adelson (June 21, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Hit Men Thwarted In Previous Attempt To Kill FSU Law Prof (June 27, 2016)
- Update On Murder-For-Hire Investigation Into Dan Markel's Death: Charlie Adelson Denies 'Any Involvement' (July 3, 2016)
- Lawyer Denies Adelson Family's Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder, Fingers Florida State Law Students, PrawfsBlawg Readers As Possible Suspects (July 18, 2016)
- Today Marks Two Year Anniversary Of Dan Markel's Murder (July 18, 2016)
- The Adelson Family (Through Their Attorneys) Deny Any Involvement In Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 3, 2016)
- Prosecutors Seek Records Showing Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Enhancement Surgery For Mother Of Hit Man's Children After Dan Markel's Murder (Aug. 20, 2016)
- Judge In Dan Markel Murder Case Approves Subpoena To See If Wendi Adelson's Brother Paid For Breast Implants For Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 23, 2016)
- Police Video Released Of Wendi Adelson Being Told Of Dan Markel's Murder, Says Her Brother Joked About Hiring A Hit Man (Aug. 27, 2016)
- FBI Interview With Ex-Girlfriend Of Dan Markel's Ex-Brother-in-Law/Mother Of Hit Man's Children (Aug. 28, 2016)
- Adelson Family Will Not Be Charged In Dan Markel's Murder Despite Circumstantial Evidence Released By Police (Including $1 Million Offer To Allow Children To Move To Miami, Communication And Money Trail To Hit Men) (Sept. 9, 2016)
- Police Reach Out To Feds As Tensions Flare With Prosecutor Over Decision Not To Charge Adelson Family In Markel Murder; Ex-Brother-in-Law Discussed Killing Undercover Agent (Sept. 10, 2016)
- ABC News To Feature Dan Markel Murder Case On Friday's 20/20 Program (Sept. 14, 2016)
- Last Night's ABC News 20/20 Program On The Dan Markel Murder: In-Laws & Outlaws (Sept. 17, 2016)
- Judge Denies Change Of Venue In Trial Of Markel's Alleged Hit Man; Defense Seeks Testimony Of Other Possible Perpetrators (Sept. 29, 2016)
- Katherine Magbanua (Mother Of Hit Man's Children, Worker In Adelson Dental Practice, Girlfriend Of Charlie Adelson) Charged With Murder of Dan Markel (Oct. 2, 2016)
- More On Katherine Magbanua's Arrest In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 3, 2016)
- Plea Deal For Hit Man In Dan Markel Murder (Oct. 4, 2016)
- Prosecutors Zero In On Adelson Family After Plea Deal With Hit Man, Arrest Of Accomplice In Markel Murder(Oct. 5, 2016)
- Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 11, 2016)
- Update: Hit Man Implicates Wendi Adelson In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 12, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson's Attorney Questions Credibility Of Hit Man's Statement Implicating Ex-Wife In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 13, 2016)
- Dan Markel's Parents Discuss With Prosecutors Emergency Placement Of Their Grandchildren Upon Forthcoming Arrests Of Adelsons (Oct. 14, 2016)
- Update On Dan Markel Murder Investigation (Oct. 15, 2016)
- More Details Emerge Linking Adelson Family To Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 18, 2016)
- What Wendi Adelson's Novel Reveals About Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 19, 2016)
- The Dan Markel Murder Investigation: Why Was Katherine Magbanua's First Degree Murder Charge Reduced To Second Degree Murder? (Oct. 25, 2016)
- CrimeStoppers Reduces Reward For Tips In Dan Markel Murder Investigation From $25k To $3k (Oct. 26, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson's Novel: Art Imitating Life? (Oct. 27, 2016)
- Experts Expect Charlie And Donna Adelson To Be Charged In Dan Markel's Murder (Oct. 30, 2016)
- The Dan Markel Murder: Fascinating Details About The Adelson Family Dynamics (Nov. 4, 2016)
- The Dan Markel Murder Case: Who Is (Or Was) Paying The Killers' Attorneys' Fees? (Nov. 13, 2016)
- Prosecutors To Seek First Degree Murder Charge Today Against Katherine Magbanua In Grand Jury Proceedings In Dan Markel's Murder (Nov. 29, 2016)
- Grand Jury Charges Katherine Magbanua With First Degree Murder In Killing Of Dan Markel (Nov. 30, 2016)
- Katherine Magbanua Pleads Not Guilty To First Degree Murder In Killing Of Dan Markel, Trial Set For February; Prosecutors Still Hope She Will Implicate Adelsons (Dec. 7, 2016)
- Judge Denies Bond For Katherine Magbanua, Charged With First Degree Murder In Killing Of Dan Markel (Dec. 11, 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? (Dec. 14, 2016)
From the day Markel was murdered, David Lat has been on a zealous crusade to absolve Wendi of any complicity whatsoever. If Wendi walked into the Tallahassee PD to surrender and confess, Lat would claim it was all a sham. Take what Lat says with a grain of salt.
Posted by: Tyler | Dec 19, 2016 9:13:42 AM
Why doesn't somebody order a transcript of the proceedings and find out FOR SURE what was said instead of speculating?
Posted by: Sandy Pister | Dec 18, 2016 11:15:29 AM
Did Henry II order the hit on Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury?
Who will rid me of this troublesome [ex-husband]?
Posted by: curmudgeoninchief | Dec 17, 2016 7:48:08 AM
If the prosecution said that Lat should provide a quote. Lawyers know the difference between current evidence and belief. Sloppy biased writing or just a missing quote?
Posted by: Anon2009 | Dec 17, 2016 5:22:40 AM
Agreed. Presuming Rivera is telling the truth (and he's not the primary hit man hired ... and he then hired Garcia) this could very well be his presumptions based on what he heard and saw and the source it came from. And, if he trusted Garcia (and Magbanua) they why would he doubt them? Quite simply ... he wouldn't. Understood.
Thus, at best .... Wendi may or may not be involved.
Posted by: John Smith | Dec 17, 2016 4:36:17 AM
AGAIN, why doesn't somebody order a transcript of the proceedings? That would solve the speculation.
Posted by: Sandy Pister | Dec 21, 2016 9:59:08 PM