Donna Adelson wants out on house arrest, files emergency motion

Posted at 2:29 PM, December 6, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (COURT TV) — Donna Adelson is seeking either a psychological evaluation or release on house arrest, new court documents show.

Adelson is currently being held without bond in Leon County jail on charges related to the death of her former son-in-law, Dan Markel.

Donna Adelson official mug shot.

Donna Adelson was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade County on an out-of-county warrant. Her former son-in-law, Daniel Markel, was murdered in 2014. Adelson’s son, Charlie Adelson, was convicted of Markel’s murder last week. (Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation)

Adelson filed an emergency motion with the court yesterday. In the motion obtained by Court TV, the 73-year-old matriarch detailed the grim conditions she has endured since her Nov. 13 arrest. Adelson stated she initially had no access to clothing, blankets or toiletries and has only had the opportunity to shower once.

Because of the charges she faces — first-degree murder, conspiracy and solicitation — she was placed in isolation within a psychiatric unit.

Adelson was initially taken into custody at Miami International Airport while trying to board a one-way flight to Vietnam. She was transferred from South Florida to Tallahassee on Nov. 21 to formally face charges.

The emergency motion further alleges that during transport, Adelson was denied water and reasonable restroom breaks on the seven-hour journey.

Adelson further indicates in the motion that she has been denied access to her medications and was only permitted to speak to her husband, Harvey Adelson, once on the phone last week. Donna’s defense attorneys have been unable to get in touch with her, and according to the motion, she says she is becoming physically weaker on account of “inhumane conditions” and “sitting in her cell naked all day,” according to the motion.

The prosecution is in agreement with Donna and her defense that she should undergo an independent psychiatrist’s evaluation.

Charlie Adelson testifies in court

Charlie Adelson is cross-examined by Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman during his trial for the murder of Dan Markel on Friday, Nov. 3, 2023. (Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via AP, Pool)

Exactly one week before her arrest, Donna’s son, periodontist Charlie Adelson, was convicted of the exact same charges Donna faces.

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

Markel, 41, was a law professor at Florida State University who had been in a bitter custody battle with his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson when he was killed. Wendi, 44, is Donna’s daughter and Charlie’s sister. Charlie, 47, faces sentencing on Dec. 12. A motions hearing in Donna’s case will also take place one day prior on Dec. 11, as will Donna’s formal arraignment.