Paul L. Caron

Monday, October 14, 2019

Leiter: Was Wendi Adelson Involved In Dan Markel's Murder?

Following up on Saturday's post, Hit Man Convicted Of First-Degree Murder Of Dan Markel; State To Retry Magbanua After Jury Deadlocks; Magbanua Fingers Charlie Adelson:  Brian Leiter (Chicago) asks Was Wendi Adelson, Dan Markel's Ex-wife, Involved in the Murder-For-Hire Plot?:

Markel & Adelson[A] law professor elsewhere wrote to me the other day summarizing the circumstantial case against Ms. Adelson as follows: ...

The alleged circumstantial evidence is gripping, including the attempt to frame Wendi's boyfriend; Wendi's flurry of calls to her family the morning of the murder and her call to Dan right before the murder; Donna's scheduling a TV repairman to come to Wendi's at the exact time of the murder (presumably to set up an alibi); and Wendi later having a celebratory dinner with Charlie.

New York Times, Man Convicted in Murder of Law Professor Locked in Family Feud:

The killing shook Florida’s capital and stunned the international legal community: A prominent law professor locked in a rancorous battle with his ex-wife and in-laws was gunned down in his garage, in what prosecutors depicted as a murder-for-hire plot.

State prosecutors charged three people with the murder of the professor, Dan Markel, hoping to pressure them into revealing whoever may have financed the murder.

Two of the accused, Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua, maintained their innocence and went to trial late last month, five years after the professor’s death. Over 11 days, the case played out inside a courtroom in Tallahassee, the state capital, revealing a web of tumultuous relationships around Mr. Markel’s murder.

On Friday, a jury found Mr. Garcia, 37, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and not guilty of solicitation of murder. He faces the death penalty, and sentencing will begin on Monday.

After more than 11 hours of deliberation, jurors told Judge James C. Hankinson that they were unable to reach a verdict on the same charges against Ms. Magbanua, 35. Judge Hankinson declared a mistrial.

The other man charged with the murder, Luis Rivera, a close friend of Mr. Garcia and a former leader of the North Miami Latin Kings gang, cooperated with law enforcement. In exchange for testifying against Mr. Garcia and Ms. Magbanua, Mr. Rivera, 36, was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and avoid the death penalty. He received a 19-year sentence instead, and is concurrently serving a 12-year sentence in an unrelated federal racketeering case. ...

Prosecutors argued that Mr. Markel was murdered because a court order prevented Ms. Adelson from relocating to South Florida with the children. They said her brother and mother then got involved, and arranged for Ms. Magbanua, Mr. Garcia and Mr. Rivera to carry out the murder for $100,000. ...

Finding Mr. Rivera and then Mr. Garcia led investigators to Ms. Magbanua, with whom Mr. Garcia has two children and an on-again-off-again relationship. At the time of the murder, the couple was broken up, and Ms. Magbanua was dating Charles Adelson, Ms. Adelson’s brother and Mr. Markel’s former brother-in-law. ...

Ms. Magbanua denied any part in the murder but said she believed that Mr. Adelson was involved. Her defense lawyers suggested that Mr. Garcia, the father of her children, agreed to kill Mr. Markel in exchange for Mr. Adelson to stop dating her. Mr. Garcia briefly confronted Mr. Adelson 17 days before the murder. ...

Investigators found no direct link between Mr. Adelson and either Mr. Rivera or Mr. Garcia. David Oscar Markus, a lawyer for Charles Adelson, said the mistrial against Ms. Magbanua showed why prosecutors have never charged the Adelson family.

“The case simply isn’t there,” Mr. Markus said in a statement. “Professional prosecutors rightfully understood that they couldn’t prove a case against Charlie before this trial. After the hung jury, their prospects have gone down, not up.”

Legal Ed News, Legal Education | Permalink


Both she and her mother are NPD which explains most things.

Posted by: Blowfly | Oct 23, 2019 3:21:27 AM

reposting cuz it didn't go through:
most people probably missed the importance of the wendi being sick & nervous testimony. per ex-bf that was June 4th. that was the date that Garcia and Rivera arrived in town and per Rivera's proffer, the original plan was to kill Markel that night.
its very suspicious that she was behaving unusually that evening. and ex-bf couldn't have known the importance of that until 2016.

Posted by: Anon2000 | Oct 22, 2019 1:11:45 PM

she felt sick on june 4th - which was the date of rivera and garcia's 1st visit to tally. rivera reported that the murder was supposed to take place that evening.

Posted by: Anon2000 | Oct 22, 2019 11:55:27 AM

Or she is so entitled that she believes that the murder was totally justified as was any role she played in facilitating and/or allowing it to go forward. She could believe she is above the law and will not be held accountable.

I don't know her and do not mean to imply otherwise. Just an opinion.

Posted by: Bob | Oct 21, 2019 10:02:28 AM

Wendi Adelson was not nervous and answered all questions asked of her on the stand. She is either telling the truth or a great actress!

Posted by: Laura Cupo | Oct 18, 2019 12:48:04 PM

Her ex boyfriend testified that he felt sick when she told him about her brother looking into hiring hitmen. She's either a complete moron or she's complicit.

Posted by: Mike | Oct 14, 2019 9:22:44 PM