Nearly eight years after a Florida law professor Dan Markel was gunned down in his garage by hired hitmen, his former brother-in-law has been arrested in connection with his killing.
Charlie Adelson was booked, according to Broward County Jail records, on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder. He was taken into custody at his home by the U.S. Marshals Service.
The news was a Thursday morning bombshell in one of the capital city’s highest-profile cases — one that has been chronicled for years by the Tallahassee Democrat and around the globe on true-crime drama television shows ranging from “Dateline” to “20/20.”
Refresh your memory on the case and find our previous coverage below.
Charlie Adelson arrested:Latest twist in the 2014 murder-for-hire case of Florida professor Dan Markel
Who is Charlie Adelson?
Charlie Adelson, 45, is the brother of Wendi Adelson and the former brother-in-law of Dan Markel. Wendi and Dan were divorced prior to the murder.
In 2019, investigators alleged the Adelson family paid $100,000 to have Markel killed.
Charlie was in a romantic relationship with Katherine Magbanua at the time of the murder. Magbanua was charged in connection with the murder-for-hire plot as the conduit between the Adelsons and the killers.
Adelson, a Fort Lauderdale dentist, and his mother Donna Adelson have been implicated in Markel’s murder from the start.
Investigators say the motive for the murder “stemmed from the desperate desire of the Adelson family” that Markel’s ex-wife Wendi Adelson and the couple’s two young sons be allowed to move to South Florida.
Who was Dan Markel?
Dan Markel was a FSU law professor who was shot and murdered in his driveway in July 2014.
The murder of the prominent legal scholar in his garage in broad daylight transfixed the Tallahassee community.
What led to Charlie Adelson’s arrest?
State attorney Jack Campbell said Adelson was indicted Wednesday by a Leon County Grand Jury in connection to Markel’s July 2014 shooting in Tallahassee, which investigators say was a murder-for-hire financed by his in-laws.
Campbell said newly enhanced audio from a secret recording done at a South Florida restaurant led to Adelson’s arrest. He also lauded the extensive work of investigators.
“That’s the new evidence,” Campbell said. “We’ve been able to hear things from the Dulce video that we weren’t able to hear until this most recent enhancement. We’ve never stopped working it and we appreciate the efforts of all of our law enforcement partners.”
The so-called Dulce Vida recording, taken in 2016 by FBI agents at the Miami restaurant of the same name, captures a conversation between Katherine Magbanua and Charlie Adelson in which they allegedly discuss undercover agents approaching his mom about Markel’s shooting, which prosecutors say detail the chain of information flow about the murder conspiracy.
Up until recently, when the audio was enhanced by a specialist, much of the conversation was inaudible.
Adelson is charged with the same offenses as Sigfredo Garcia, the gunman who drove to Tallahassee and shot Markel, and Magbanua, who is set to stand trial May 16.
Who has already been arrested/convicted of this murder?
Charlie Adelson: Arrested Thursday, April 21, 2021
Sigfredo Garcia: A judge in Leon County, Florida sentenced Sigfredo Garcia to life in prison in October 2019. Jurors found the defendant guilty as one of the men who killed Florida State University Law Professor Dan Markel.
Katherine Magbanua: After both Magbanua’s defense team and prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office agreed that a CIA analyst needed more time to analyze a key recording in the alleged murder-for-hire case, Katherine Magbanua’s murder trial has been moved to begin May 16. Her trial was previously set to start Feb. 14.
Luis Rivera: State’s key witness; Testified in 2019 that he was with Garcia when Markel was murdered; Pled guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a 19-year sentence to run concurrently with a federal sentence on an unrelated case for his statements and cooperation with prosecutors.
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