Donna Adelson cites Jewish holidays in request to speed up trial

Posted at 1:21 PM, March 26, 2024 and last updated 12:18 PM, March 26, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Court TV)—Donna Adelson’s attorneys are asking a judge to move her trial date two weeks earlier, citing Jewish holidays that would coincide with it.

donna adelson appears in court

Donna Adelson reacts to statements made about her treatment at the Leon County Jail by LSCO Chief Norman Mack during a motion hearing on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023. (Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat/Pool)

Adelson, 74, is charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder for the killing of her former son-in-law, Dan Markel. Markel, an FSU law professor, was embroiled in a contentious custody dispute with his ex-wife and Adelson’s daughter when he was shot and killed outside of his home.

In a filing entered with the court on Tuesday, Adelson asked the judge to change the scheduled Sept. 30 start date of her trial to Sept. 16. The motion cites the Jewish holidays of Rosh Hashanah, which falls on Oct 2-3, and Yom Kippur on Oct 11-12, as the reason for requesting the move. Adelson is an observant Jew, and the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, known collectively as the Jewish “High Holidays,” are some of the holiest days on the religion’s calendar.

READ MORE: Prosecutors: No plea deal for Donna Adelson

In the motion, Adelson said that she would like the pretrial and trial moved to accommodate the holidays, but that if the judge refuses the motion, she specifically said that she does not want the trial to be continued to a later date, and would prefer the trial start on Sept. 30.

The defense noted that it had conferred with the prosecution before filing the motion and that the state had no objection to the change.

Adelson is the fifth person to face charges in Markel’s death. Her son, Charlie Adelson, was convicted on the same charges and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in December.