Tallahassee Democrat, Murder Milestone: 5 Years After Dan Markel Was Gunned Down, Journey to Justice Continues:
The last conversation Dan Markel had was about his two boys.
Five years ago today, the Florida State law professor — at 41, already a renown legal scholar — was on his cellphone with a friend and teacher at the School of Arts and Science talking about where the preschoolers should start kindergarten.
Where the boys would go to school was yet another point of contention between Markel and his ex-wife Wendi Adelson, also a lawyer and FSU professor. Even after they were divorced, their acrimony continued to play out in vicious legal battles over the boys' parenting.
That Friday morning, at about 11 a.m., Markel was returning to his single-story brick home on Trescott Drive in Betton Hills. He'd started the day a little before 9 a.m., dropping Ben and Lincoln off at Creative Preschool on Tharpe Street. He then hit Premier Fitness in Market Square, where he worked out for about 90 minutes.
He drove home south down Thomasville Road, and was still talking on the phone when he pulled his black Honda Accord into the garage. He remained behind the wheel for a few minutes continuing the conversation about Wendi trying to enroll the boys at the school without his knowledge.
“Hold on a second," Markel told his friend. "There is someone in my driveway that is unfamiliar to me."
Those were his last words.
On the other end of the phone, the next thing the friend heard was a loud grunt and muffled voices, followed by labored breathing. He asked if Markel was OK, but got no reply.
When emergency responders arrived at 2116 Trescott Drive — 19 minutes after the initial 911 call — Markel was slumped over the steering wheel struggling for breath. He’d been shot twice in the face at point blank range.
He was rushed to the hospital, but there was little to be done. He died at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare early the next day.
Meanwhile, the Tallahassee Police Department began what would be a years-long effort to find out who killed Markel and why. ...
"Dan Markel was a light in the world," his parents Ruth and Phil Markel said, in a statement from their attorney Orin Snyder.
"Five years ago, Dan was murdered in cold blood outside his home — only hours after saying goodbye to his two young boys for what would be the last time. Five years later, his friends and family are still waiting for all of his killers to be brought to justice." ...
In September, after years of delays, Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua will go on trial for Markel’s murder. Both were arrested in 2016, after a nearly two-year investigation, during which police dogged dozens of leads and pleaded with the public for help.
Much of the case against the couple, who have children together, will come from Luis Rivera, a co-conspirator, who made a deal with prosecutors to testify against the others in exchange for a lighter sentence.
But Markel’s parents, prosecutors and police contend the trio did not act alone. They say his ex-wife’s family ordered his killing so their daughter would be free to move to South Florida with the boys – something she greatly desired and Markel forbade. ...
Magbanua’s attorneys Chris DeCoste and Tara Kawass, who have been in the midst of dozens of witness depositions in preparation for trial, took a moment to mark the 5-year milestone Wednesday.
“On this anniversary instead of again stressing Katie’s innocence, we'd rather address the community that lost a son," they said in a statement. "Through our extensive investigation we’ve learned many things including something many of you already know. Dan Markel was a great man, a brilliant scholar and a devoted father. Current legal battles aside his murder is beyond tragic.” ...
In a statement through her lawyer, [Wendi Adleson] said: “Our boys and I continue to mourn Danny’s loss for each day of the five long years since he was taken from us.”
Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:
- Police Release New Details In Dan Markel's Murder (July 20, 2014)
- Memorial Tributes to Dan Markel (1972-2014) (July 31, 2014)
- Details Emerge in Murder of Dan Markel (Aug. 31, 2014)
- Dan Markel's Death Remains a Mystery Seven Months After Shooting (Feb 20, 2015)
- Dan Markel's Father Speaks To The Media For The First Time About His Son's Murder (Apr. 5, 2015)
- Remembering Dan Markel (May 3, 2015)
- Dan Markel Deserves Justice (July 18, 2015)
- Police Release New Details In Dan Markel's Murder (July 20, 2015)
- Remembering Dan Markel (Sept. 9, 2015)
- 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)
- 'The Prosecution Does Not Believe That Wendi Ordered The Hit' On Dan Markel (Dec. 17, 2016)
- Wendi Adelson's Lawyer Lists Seven Reasons That 'Conclusively Establish Her Innocence' In Dan Markel's Murder — And Monitors Web Comments That May Give Rise To Defamation Actions Against Those Proclaiming Her Guilt (Dec. 20, 2016)
- Tallahassee Crimes Of The Year: The Murder Of Dan Markel (Dec. 29, 2016)
- Katherine Magbanua's Murder Trial In Killing Of Dan Markel Is Delayed As Two Inmates Say Alleged Hit Man Sigfredo Garcia Implicated Charlie And Donna Adelson (Feb. 7, 2017)
- Two Prison Inmates Provide Link To Adelsons In Dan Markel's Murder (Feb. 15, 2017)
- Lawyers For Adelsons, Magbanua Attack Prosecution's Case Against Their Clients In Dan Markel Murder (Feb. 22, 2017)
- Magbanua’s Attorneys Chide Prosecutors' Fishing Expedition To Determine Who Is Paying Her Attorneys' Fees In Markel Murder Case (Mar. 28, 2017)
- One Year After Arrest Of Alleged Hit Man, Prosecutors Are No Closer To Charging Adelsons In Murder Of Dan Markel, Despite 'Mountain Of Strong But Circumstantial Evidence' (May 25, 2017)
- Trial Date Set For Alleged Hit Man In Dan Markel's Murder (June 21, 2017)
- On Three Year Anniversary Of Dan Markel's Murder, Wheels Of Justice Continue To Turn Slowly (July 19, 2017)
- Another Cellmate Implicates Hit Man In Dan Markel's Murder (Sept. 21, 2017)
- People Magazine Investigates: Who Killed Dan Markel? (Dec. 21, 2017)
- Who Had Dan Markel Killed? (Jan. 18, 2018)
- New Charges Filed Against Two Suspects In Dan Markel's Murder (Feb. 9, 2018)
- Prosecutors Admit They Are No Closer To Arresting Other Suspects In Dan Markel's Murder (Feb. 12, 2018)
- Accused Hit Man In Dan Markel's Murder Pleads Not Guilty To New Charges (Mar. 9, 2018)
- Charges Consolidated For Katherine Magbanua (Mother Of Hit Man's Children, Worker In Adelson Dental Practice) In Murder Of Dan Markel (Mar. 27, 2018)
- Dan Markel's Parents Break Their Silence Tonight On NBC's Dateline (Apr. 13, 2018)
- Wendi Adelson's Billionaire Boss Says Prosecutors Have Concluded She Had Nothing To Do With Dan Markel's Murder (Apr. 23, 2018)
- Judge Grants Prosecutors' Motion For Joint Trial Of Markel Murder Suspects, But Warns 'Be Careful What You Wish For'; Post July 18, 2014 Statements Are Now Inadmissible As Evidence (June 21, 2018)
- Autopsy Report Reveals New Details In Dan Markel's Murder (July 9, 2018)
- Dan Markel’s Parents Release Statement On Four-Year Anniversary Of His Murder (July 21, 2018)
- Prosecutors Investigate Whether Magbanua Sister-In-Law's Alleged $1.2 Million Embezzlement Was Used To Pay Defendant's Attorneys' Fees In Dan Markel Murder Case (July 31, 2018)
- Oct. 8 Murder Trial Of Suspects In Dan Markel's Murder Is Delayed, Perhaps For Five Months (Sept. 19, 2018)
- June 3, 2019 Trial Date Set For Suspects In 2014 Dan Markel Murder (Nov. 26, 2018)
- Dan Markel's Murder: The Podcast (Mar. 1, 2019)
- Dan Markel's Parents Want Justice As Suspects Finally Head To Trial In Murder-For-Hire Case (Apr. 29, 2019)
- Hit Man's Lawyer Seeks Continuance Of June Trial Four Years After Dan Markel's Murder Due To Girlfriend's Pregnancy (May 4, 2019)
- Judge Rules Wendi Adelson Need Not Give Defense Deposition, Denies Continuance In Dan Markel Murder Trial (May 10, 2019)
- Judge Denies Third Request For Delay In June 3 Trial Of Suspects In Dan Markel's 2014 Murder (May 23, 2019)
- Judge Delays June 3 Trial Date In Dan Markel's Murder Due To Newly Discovered Cell Phone Data (May 25, 2019)
- Dan Markel's Murder: The TV Series (May 26, 2019)
- Divided Appeals Court Affirms Ruling That Wendi Adelson Need Not Give Defense Deposition In Dan Markel Murder Trial (June 3, 2019)
- A Law Professor's Murder In Tallahassee Was A Contract Hit, Prosecutors Say (June 8, 2019)
- Should Judge Allow Defendants In Dan Markel Murder Trial To Depose Wendi Adelson To Preclude Possible Reversal In Post-Conviction Appeal? (June 10, 2019)
- Trial Judge Reverses, Wendi Adelson Will Face Defense Questioning In Dan Markel Murder Case (June 12, 2019)
- The Mother-In-Law From Hell In The Dan Markel Murder Case (June 19, 2019)
- Dan Markel Murder Suspects To Stand Trial On Sept. 23 (June 21, 2019)