Saturday, October 19, 2019
Who Paid For The Hit On Dan Markel? Charlie Adelson's Name Keeps Coming Up.
Following up on my previous post, Brian Leiter (Chicago): Was Wendi Adelson Involved In Dan Markel's Murder?: Miami Herald, Who Paid For Hit on FSU Prof? In Lurid Trial, a Broward Dentist’s Name Keeps Coming Up:
Hours after Florida State University law professor Daniel Markel was shot and killed in his car at his Tallahassee home in July 2014, his ex-wife Wendi Adelson sat with an investigator at the Tallahassee Police Department, shaking, crying and burying her face in her hands.
When the investigator told Wendi the shooting was intentional and they needed to find out who murdered the father of her two children, she blurted out a name: Charlie Adelson, her older brother and confidant.
“[Charlie] knew that Danny always treated me badly and it was always this joke,” Wendi Adelson, also an FSU law professor, told police. “He said: ‘I looked into hiring a hit man and it was cheaper to get you this TV so instead I got you this TV … but he would never … it’s such a horrible thing to say.’”
Charlie Adelson, a Tamarac periodontist, has not been charged in the case and denies any involvement, but his name has come up again and again during a five-year investigation — and repeatedly during an ongoing three-week trial of two South Florida residents facing murder charges in Leon County for Markel’s death.
This week, a state prosecutor called Charlie Adelson an “unindicted co-conspirator” during an interview with the Miami Herald. And the Tallahassee Police Department has done little to hide its suspicions that he organized the hit. Three years ago, police even released a draft of a probable cause affidavit against Adelson that the local state attorney rejected as insufficient to file charges. ...
[P]rosecutors say they believe Charlie Adelson financed the scheme to kill Markel, giving $100,000 in cash and gifts to the two hit men. The suggested motive: to end a court order and the emotional strain that had barred Wendi from relocating her children to South Florida after her bitter divorce from Markel. ...
While lead prosecutor Cappleman prepared a probable cause affidavit against Charlie Adelson in 2016, her former boss — now-retired state attorney Willie Meggs — concluded they didn’t have the evidence to convict him. Meggs told the Tallahassee Democrat the cops simply hadn’t collected enough evidence.
“If they believe they have probable cause then they should go make the arrest. They don’t need me,” Meggs said. “I would say to Chief (Michael) DeLeo go make the arrest and get ready for your civil suit from whoever they have arrested without probable cause.’”
Still, Tallahassee police released the unexecuted affidavit to the Tallahassee Democrat in 2016. That turned what had been a whisper of suspicion against Charlie Adelson into a continuing conversation.
During the trial, prosecutors never produced a witness who could link Adelson to either Rivera or Garcia. But they did show that Magbanua’s finances improved dramatically after the murder. ...
Tara Kawass, her attorney, told the jury her client had been offered immunity to testify against Charlie Adelson and asked Magbanua to explain why she turned it down.
“I wish I could because I wouldn’t be incarcerated — and I’d be free and I’d be with my children,’‘ Magbanua said.
“Why haven’t you done that?’‘ Kawass asked. “Because I’m telling the truth,’‘ Magbanua answered.
“Do you think Charlie Adelson was involved in this?” her attorney also asked her. “And that he was lying to you?”
“Yes,” Magbanua replied.
Magbanua’s lawyers say Garcia is guilty and Adelson should be arrested. They argue that Garcia was bitter and jealous of Adelson, so in July 2014, he approached the dentist and agreed to murder Markel without telling his girlfriend.
“If you stay away from Katie Magbanua, I’ll do this,’’ Kawass suggested was his offer.
For their part, Garcia’s attorneys argued that the state has tethered its entire case against their client on the testimony of Rivera, a career criminal and gang member serving a 19-year sentence in federal prison. They said Garcia would never have helped Adelson, whom he bitterly disliked for dating Magbanua, the mother of his children.
“They want you to believe that this man, whose heart was broken, decided: ‘You know what? I’m going to help out the guy who’s with my wife,’‘ said Garcia’s attorney Saam Zangeneh. “The only person who said Sigfredo Garcia killed Dan Markel is Luis Rivera.”
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)
- Five Years After Dan Markel's Murder, Journey To Justice Continues (July 18, 2019)
- Tallahassee Court Sends Summons To 750 Prospective Jurors For Sept. 23 Trial In Dan Markel Murder Case (Aug. 23, 2019)
- Justice For Dan Markel FB Group Urges Protest Of Wendi Adelson's Appearance At Miami Book Event (Aug. 26, 2019)
- Online Petition Asks Wendi Adelson To Let Dan Markel’s Parents See Their Grandchildren (Aug. 27, 2019)
- Trial Of Suspects In Dan Markel's Murder Nears As Friend Asks: What Should Happen When Your Mom and Brother Murder Your Ex? (Sept. 18, 2019)
- In Advance Of Monday's Jury Selection In Dan Markel Murder Case, Magbanua Seeks Separate Trial (Sept. 20, 2019)
- Judge Denies Motion For Separate Trials Of Suspects In Dan Markel's Murder, Jury Selection Begins Monday (1,893 Days After Shooting) (Sept. 21, 2019)
- Five Years After Dan Markel's Murder, Trial Of Two Suspects Begins Today (Sept. 23, 2019)
- Week 1 Highlights Of The Dan Markel Murder Trial (Sept. 30, 2019)
- Week 2 Highlights Of The Dan Markel Murder Trial (Oct. 7, 2019)
- Hit Man Convicted Of First-Degree Murder Of Dan Markel; State To Retry Magbanua After Jury Deadlocks; Magbanua Fingers Charlie Adelson (Oct. 12, 2019)
- Leiter: Was Wendi Adelson Involved In Dan Markel's Murder? (Oct. 14, 2019)
- Jury Rejects Death Penalty, Gives Dan Markel's Killer Life Without Parole; Prosecutors To Retry Magbanua (Oct. 16, 2019)