Did dentist hire hit men to kill law prof Dan Markel, his ex-brother-in-law? 'Absolutely no,' he testifies
Dentist Charlie Adelson took the witness stand Thursday and denied hiring hit men to kill his former brother-in-law, Dan Markel, a Florida State University College of Law professor. Photo from the Broward County, Florida, sheriff’s office via the Associated Press.
Dentist Charlie Adelson took the witness stand Thursday and denied hiring hit men to kill his former brother-in-law, Dan Markel, a Florida State University College of Law professor.
Adelson testified that he was being extorted by the two gang members later convicted in Markel’s July 2014 death, an assertion first made during opening statements in Adelson’s murder trial last week by defense lawyer Daniel Rashbaum.
The Tallahassee Democrat has the story.
“Did you cause the death of Dan Markel?” Rashbaum asked Adelson.
“Absolutely no,” Adelson replied.
In his opening statement, Rashbaum maintained that the alleged go-between, Katherine Magbanua, was the mastermind of the murder plot, and she told Adelson that those involved would have to be paid, or they would kill a member of the Adelson family.
Magbanua was aware that the Adelson family had offered $1 million to get Markel to move to Miami, where the Adelsons lived, and she “got some ideas in her head” after learning that the family had that kind of money, Rashbaum had said.
Magbanua later testified that it was Adelson who was the plot mastermind. Prosecutors allege that Adelson hired hit men, so his sister, lawyer Wendi Adelson, could move with the former couple’s children from Tallahassee, Florida, to Miami.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Charlie Adelson testified that he learned that Garcia was upset after finding out that Magbanua was dating Adelson.
His first meeting with Garcia, Charlie Adelson testified, was on July 1, 2014, when Garcia drove in front of him, cutting him off and nearly causing Adelson to rear-end Garcia. Then Garcia got out of his car and started screaming.
“His face was red,” Charlie Adelson said. “The guy was going crazy.”
Charlie Adelson said he first learned that Markel had been shot while he was conducting dental surgery, according to the Tallahassee Democrat’s account of the testimony. Magbanua came over to his home the same evening, said the murder was her fault, and her friend killed Markel, Charlie Adelson testified. She told him then, Charlie Adelson said, that if he didn’t pay in 48 hours, the perpetrators would kill him.
Charlie Adelson took all the cash in his safe, which was $138,000, and gave it to Magbanua, he said. He had collected cash in the past because the offices where he worked sometimes paid that way for materials.
After that night, Charlie Adelson installed 23 cameras in his home and kept a gun with him all the time.
“I was worried about my safety,” he said.
Charlie Adelson said he later told his mother about the extortion plot after Magbanua asked to go on the payroll of the dental office of Charlie Adelson’s father.
“She wanted to go to the police,” Charlie Adelson said of his mother. “I said, ‘Absolutely not; it’s not going to bring Dan back, and it could get me killed.’”