Donna Adelson arraigned in Leon County court

Posted at 9:59 AM, November 21, 2023


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (COURT TV) — Donna Adelson has been arraigned in a Leon County Court on charges related to the death of her former son-in-law. Adelson was transferred from Miami to Tallahassee in the early morning hours today.

Donna Adelson’s current mug shot. (Leon County Jail)

Last week, Adelson was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy and solicitation in the death of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel. She had been taken into custody at Miami International Airport while attempting to board a one-way flight to Vietnam.

At today’s arraignment, she was ordered held without bond on the murder charge, and barred from having any contact with her co-conspirators or any members of the victim’s family.

READ MORE: FL v. Adelson: Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial

Earlier this month, Adelson’s periodontist son, Charlie Adelson, was convicted on all charges in Markel’s killing. Markel was gunned down in July 2014 in his garage by two hit men. It turned out to be a murder-for-hire plot for which three other individuals have already been convicted: Katherine Magbanua, Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera. Magbanua, who was dating Charlie at the time, solicited Garcia — the father of her children — and Rivera to kill Markel.

It is believed that the Adelsons arranged to have Markel gunned down so that his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, would be free to move from Tallahassee to the Miami area with the couple’s two preschool-aged sons. Wendi has thus far not been charged with any crimes related to the death of Markel. Neither has Donna’s husband, Harvey Adelson, who ran a successful dental practice in South Florida for decades. Charlie will be sentenced on Dec. 12.

Tallahassee is a little more than seven hours away from Miami by car, and Charlie’s trial detailed how Donna badly wanted her daughter and grandsons to live closer to her. Ironically, Donna Adelson took that drive this morning — this time as an inmate.