Paul L. Caron

Saturday, June 4, 2022

With Katherine Magbanua's Conviction In Dan Markel's Murder, Prosecutors Set Their Sights On Charlie Adelson

Tallahassee Democrat, With Magbanua Conviction in Markel Murder, Prosecutors Set Their Sights Toward Charlie Adelson:

Adelson (Charlie) (2022)Charlie Adelson joked that buying his sister a TV was cheaper than hiring a hitman to kill Florida State law professor Dan Markel as a way to solve the issues surrounding her divorce.

In April he was taken into custody on first-degree murder and related conspiracy and solicitation charges in connection with Markel's July 2014 shooting at his house in Betton Hills.

It's unclear what effect the conviction of Katherine Magbanua on May 27 could have on Adelson's case, but her two-week trial did lay out how investigators say the wealthy dentist sought out Markel's killers through her — and what role covert conversations between the two captured by undercover FBI agents could have in his prosecution. ...

Charlie Adelson's statements about hiring a hitman, detailed by Wendi Adelson as she was interviewed by Tallahassee Police detectives the day Markel was shot, immediately made him a prime suspect, despite her attempts to brush it away on the stand.

“He ... made a very bad joke ... that it was cheaper than hiring a hitman,” Adelson told jurors.

When detectives heard the same story from a boyfriend of Wendi Adelson, they zeroed in on the statement.

“This was chilling,” said Jeffrey Lacasse of comments made by Charlie Adelson. Prosecutors say there was an attempt to frame Lacasse for the murder. “This wasn’t funny. It made my stomach flip.” ...

State Attorney Jack Campbell declined to go into details about which testimony or evidence from Magbanua’s trial could be useful in prosecuting Charlie Adelson, mostly because the investigation is ongoing.

However, Campbell alluded to the continued work of investigators on the theory that the 41-year-old, along with potentially other unindicted co-conspirators in his family, were the ones behind Markel's murder.

“It certainly affects it; some good. Some bad,” Campbell said. “The investigation never stops. We’re following the trail we told everybody we would.”

TaxProf Blog coverage of the Magbanua trial:

Prior TaxProf Blog coverage:

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