Judge denies motion to interview jurors about alleged group chat in trial for murder of law prof
Charlie Adelson is cross-examined by Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman during his trial Nov. 3 in Tallahassee, Florida, for the murder of Dan Markel, a Florida State University College of Law professor. Photo by Alicia Devine/The Tallahassee Democrat via the Associated Press.
Updated: A judge in Leon County, Florida, has denied a motion to interview jurors about an alleged group chat before the murder conviction of a dentist accused of hiring hit men to kill a Florida State University law professor.
Judge Stephen Everett of Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit denied the motion by Miami lawyer Dan Rashbaum on Thursday, according to online court records cited by the Tallahassee Democrat. The judge’s order was sealed.
Adelson is the former brother-in-law of the slain Florida State University College of Law professor, Dan Markel. Adelson was accused of ordering the hit, so his sister—Markel’s ex-wife—could move with the children from Tallahassee, Florida, to the Miami area to be close to family.
The alternate who contacted Rashbaum said one or more members of the jury asked all the other jurors for their telephone numbers, after which some kind of group chat was established. The alternate wasn’t aware of what was said during the chat.
Rashbaum’s motion said juror interviews were needed to learn whether the chats “involved outside information about the case or constituted premature deliberations,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
Updated Nov. 10 at 11:30 a.m. to report on Judge Stephen Everett’s decision.