(Trends Wide) — A Fort Lauderdale dentist has been charged in connection with the 2014 death of his former brother-in-law, a renowned Florida State University School of Law professor.
Professor Daniel Markel was fatally shot in the head at his home on July 18, 2014, Trends Wide reported.
On Wednesday, Charles Adelson, Markel’s former brother-in-law, was indicted in Leon County on charges of premeditated murder; conspiracy to commit murder; and solicitation to commit murder, according to a grand jury indictment.
The indictment alleges that Adelson solicited two men, Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera, to kill Markel.
Rivera, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of a plea deal, was sentenced to 19 years in 2016, according to Trends Wide affiliate WCTV. Garcia, who has pleaded not guilty, was sentenced to life in prison in 2019, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Leon County court administrators did not immediately comment on the cases.
Katherine “Katie” Magbanua is also named in the grand jury indictment. She faces the same charges as Adelson.
In 2016, investigators said Magbanua, Garcia’s ex-girlfriend, helped organize the murder of Markel, who was in a bitter custody dispute with his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, Trends Wide reported.
At the time, Adelson and Magbanua were in a romantic relationship, Magbanua’s attorney said.
Tara Kawass, Magbanua’s defense attorney, told Trends Wide on Friday 2019 that Magbanua initially went on trial on charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and solicitation to commit murder.
The state of Florida moved to join the Gracia and Magbanua trials, Kawass said. The jury convicted Garcia of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. However, the jury could not agree on Magbanua’s case, resulting in a mistrial, Kawass told Trends Wide.
Magbanua’s trial is scheduled to begin on May 16, 2022, according to the Leon County Court. On Friday morning, he pleaded not guilty to all three charges listed against him in Wednesday’s indictment, Kawass said.
Prosecutors claim that Magbanua was the only link between Garcia, Rivera and the Adelson family, according to Kawass.
Meanwhile, Kawass told Trends Wide that while Sigfredo Garcia and Charles Adelson were meeting at some point, the two men “conspired behind his back” regarding Markel’s murder.
As for Charles Adelson, a grand jury heard new audio that helped implicate him in the murder, according to Jack Campbell, state attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit Court in Leon County, Florida.
“This recording includes statements from Charles Adelson that can be clearly heard for the first time,” their statement read. According to Trends Wide affiliate WCTV, the FBI recorded a conversation between Adelson and Magbanua at a restaurant in 2016.
“The government has had the recording for six years and one day,” Magbanua’s attorneys, Tara Kawass and Christopher DeCoste, said in a statement to Trends Wide on Thursday. “Since then, they’ve done endless sessions with different audio and video experts trying to hear voices from beyond the grave. What you can hear—not what’s in their inadmissible and wildly inaccurate subtitles—is that Katherine Magbanua is innocent.”
Adelson was arrested at his home in South Florida on Thursday, according to a statement from Campbell. The grand jury indicted him on Wednesday and “he was taken into custody without incident,” he said.
“Charlie is innocent and prosecutors have no new information that led to this arrest,” David Oscar Markus and Margot Moss, Adelson’s attorneys, told Trends Wide. “The timing sure sucks, doesn’t it? On the eve of Katie’s long-awaited trial, this move smacks of desperation.”
“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,” said a statement from Orin Snyder and Matt Benjamin, attorneys for the Markel family. , obtained by Trends Wide affiliate WTXL.
“Nearly eight years after Danny’s tragic murder, these dedicated public servants continue to fight to honor Danny’s memory and hold accountable all those responsible for his horrific death. On behalf of Danny’s family and friends in the Tallahassee community and around the world, thank you,” the statement from the Markel family said.
“Dr. Markel’s family, the State Attorney’s Office and the law enforcement team behind this ongoing investigation will not rest until justice is served for everyone involved in this terrible crime,” Campbell said.