Criminal Justice

'Bombshell' arrest made in murder of slain law prof Dan Markel; enhanced recording credited

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Police have made an additional arrest in the July 2014 murder of Dan Markel, a professor at the Florida State University College of Law—and the news is a “bombshell,” according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

The accused triggerman has been convicted, an accomplice pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and an alleged go-between is awaiting a new trial, according to WFSU Public Media. But who allegedly ordered the hit?

On Thursday, police arrested a fourth suspect: 45-year-old Charlie Adelson, Markel’s former brother-in-law. He has been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder. No additional details of the alleged crime have been released, and Adelson’s lawyers say he is innocent, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

WTXL and WCTV also have coverage.

The alleged go-between awaiting trial, Katherine Magbanua, had dated Charlie Adelson and had worked in the dental practice where Charlie Adelson and his father were dentists, according to Above the Law. Charlie Adelson’s mother was the patient care coordinator.

At the time of his death, Markel was recently divorced from Charlie Adelson’s sister Wendi Adelson, who was director of FSU’s Public Interest Law Center. She later clerked for a federal appeals court judge on the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Atlanta and was named executive director of the Immigration Partnership & Coalition Fund.

According to a prior probable cause affidavit, investigators thought that after the divorce, the Adelsons were determined to move Wendi Adelson and the two Markel children to South Florida where the Adelsons lived. A prosecutor had determined in September 2016 that information in the affidavit was not sufficient to charge Charlie Adelson.

State Attorney Jack Campbell said Charlie Adelson was indicted Wednesday. He told the Tallahassee Democrat that Charlie Adelson’s arrest was precipitated by newly enhanced audio from a secret FBI recording of a conversation between Charlie Adelson and Magbanua at the Dulce Vida restaurant in South Florida.

Testifying under a grant of immunity in September 2019, Wendi Adelson said she wasn’t involved in a plot to kill Markel, and she didn’t know who killed him.

Wendi Adelson said she had sought full custody of the children during the divorce, and her mother had considered offering Markel $1 million to allow the children to relocate to South Florida. No offer was ever made, however, Wendi Adelson testified.

Lawyers for the Markel family with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher released this statement: “The Markel family is deeply grateful to the state attorney’s office, the FBI and all members of law enforcement for their tireless pursuit of justice. Nearly eight years after Danny’s tragic murder, these dedicated public servants continue to fight to honor Danny’s memory and to hold accountable all those responsible for his horrific death. On behalf of Danny’s family and friends in the Tallahassee community and all over the world, thank you.”

See also: “Man is charged in death of law prof Dan Markel; case is reportedly investigated as murder for hire” “Man who pleaded guilty in law prof’s murder tells police that he saw prof’s ex-wife” “Police video shows ex-wife of slain law prof Dan Markel reacting to news of his shooting” “Two men are indicted in law prof’s slaying” “Suspect accepts plea deal in slaying of law prof Dan Markel; his help led to third person’s arrest” “Judge in Dan Markel murder case approves subpoena for breast implant payment records” “Shooting death of law prof who founded PrawfsBlawg is investigated as homicide”

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