TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (COURT TV) — A Florida dentist has been found guilty of all charges in the plot to kill his ex brother-in-law.
A jury convicted Charlie Adelson of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and solicitation to commit murder in the death of Florida State University law professor Dan Markel. Adelson was remanded to custody, pending sentencing on December 12.
Prosecutors said Adelson plotted the 2014 murder of Markel so that his sister, Wendi Adelson, could relocate freely with the couple’s children. Markel and his ex-wife were embroiled in a contentious custody battle at the time Markel was gunned down in the driveway of his Tallahassee home.
Adelson’s defense team’s request to keep interviews and recordings of Katherine Magbanua sealed was granted. Magbanua, Adelson’s ex-girlfriend, was sentenced to life in prison plus two additional 30-year sentences on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder.
Magbanua’s ex and father of their children, Sigfredo Garcia, was the one who fired the gun that killed Markel. He was convicted in 2019 and received a life sentence plus an additional 30 years on a conspiracy charge.
According to the indictment, Adelson solicited Garcia and another man, Luis Rivera, to kill Markel. Rivera pleaded guilty to second-degree murder when he struck a plea deal in 2016. He was sentenced to 19 years.
Last week, a judge ordered Adelson’s parents to face questioning ahead of trial. According to court records, Adelson’s parents had planned to plead the fifth at questioning but hadn’t ruled out testifying at trial. The judge then ruled that the Adelsons must answer the state’s questions or risk being held in contempt.
Just before the trial began, both sides agreed not to call the couple. The state stipulated that Harvey or Donna Adelson’s attorney said that the pair planned to assert their Fifth Amendment right to silence during any interviews.
The judge also ruled that jurors could look at video allegedly showing Adelson speaking with one of the accused hitmen.
DAILY TRIAL UPDATES
DAY 7: 11/6/23
- The prosecution and defense delivered closing arguments.
- The jury deliberated for several hours before returning a verdict.
DAY 6: 11/3/23
- Charlie Adelson ends his testimony steadfastly claiming he was a victim of extortion and not the mastermind of a murder-for-hire
- Prosecutors grill Adelson about his relationship with Latin King moll Katherine Magbanua
- Lawyers on both sides waive lesser included charges – jurors will consider first-degree premeditated murder as the top count
- WATCH: Charlie Adelson explains why he never told police about extortion
- READ MORE:
DAY 6: 11/2/23
- Charlie Adelson denies he hired anyone to kill his ex-brother-in-law
- Adelson claims he feared for his own life when Markel’s killers threatened to kill him if he didn’t pay them
- He continued his relationship with Katie Magbanua even though she told him her friends killed his brother-in-law because she protected him from them.
- WATCH: Charlie Adelson Takes the Stand
- WATCH: Charlie Adelson Talks about Dan, Wendi and a ‘Stupid’ Hitman Joke
- WATCH: Charlie Adelson Describes His Relationship with Katherine Magbanua
- WATCH: Adelson Testifies Magbanua Told Him Her Friend Killed Markel
- WATCH: Adelson: I Thought Magbanua’s Ex Was Extorting My Mom
- WATCH: Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial: The Defense’s Timeline
- WATCH: Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial: Day 6 Recap
DAY 5: 11/1/23
- Charles Adelson takes the oath and informs the court he will testify in his own defense.
- Prosecutors rest their case-in-chief
- The government plays hours of intercepted calls Charles makes to his mother and Katherine Magbanua discussing the bump in code.
- Charles and his mother call the undercover officer posing as the blackmailer.
DAY 4: 10/31/23
- Jurors see a video of the “Bump” an undercover operation carried out to get the Adelsons talking
- The operation prompts Charlie Adelson to call his mother multiple times in which they discuss the possibility that they are being blackmailed.
- The Bump leads to a meeting in a restaurant between the defendant and codefendant Katherine Magbanua
DAY 3: 10/30/23
- Convicted codefendant Katherine Magbanua testifies defendant Charlie Adelson gave her the money to pay for the hit job on Dan Markel.
- Magbanua admitted to lying in her two previous trials to save herself but claims to be truthful now to help the family gain closure.
- Jurors heard the defendant’s voice in a recorded call with his assistant who tells him the FBI is asking for employment records of Katherine Magbanua.
- Text messages between Charles and his mother show the growing conflict between his family and Dan Markel
DAY 2: 10/27/23
- Wendy Adelson testifies that she had fully expected to follow through with plans she made to buy a house and build a life in Tallahassee contrary to the State’s claim that she was desperate to relocate.
- Jilted ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Lacasse testifies that Wendy told him in confidence that her brother had investigated hiring hitmen to kill her ex-husband
- Lacasse says he suspected the Adelsons were trying to frame him for Markel’s murder
- Rivera testifies about the hit job on Dan Markel
DAY 1: 10/26/23
- Both sides give opening statements – Prosecutors detail how law enforcement connected the dots to lead them to the defendant as being the mastermind in the murder plot.
- Defense reveals Charlie Adelson was blackmailed into making payments to his killers because they threatened to harm him and his family.
- Defense says Charlie Adelson’s jokes about paying a million-dollar bribe to his brother-in-law and finding a hitman – found its way to violent men who saw an opportunity.
- Defendant’s sister testified that she had nothing to do with her husband’s death even though the State has labeled her an unindicted co-conspirator.
- Wendi Adelson denies her family had her ex-husband killed to help her relocate her and her children closer to them.
- Neighbor calls 911 after discovering Dan Markel fatally wounded in his car.
- Good surveillance video of Dan Markel at the gym minutes before he is murdered
Catch up on the case with Court TV’s pre-trial coverage:
- WATCH: Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial: Jury Selection Update
- WATCH: Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial: Adelson Parents Removed from Witness List
- WATCH: Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial: Jury Selection Continues
- WATCH: Jury Selection Begins for Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial
- WATCH: Dan Markel’s Mother Speaks to Court TV Before Trial
- READ: Charlie Adelson’s attorneys ask for change of venue during jury selection
- WATCH: Dentist Mastermind Murder Trial: Charlie Adelson in Court for Pre-Trial Hearing
- READ: Adelson’s parents must answer questions before son’s murder trial
- WATCH: Charlie Adelson Facing October Trial in Law Professor Murder-for-Hire
- READ: Trial for Charlie Adelson, accused in murder-for-hire plot, to move forward
- READ: Woman guilty in murder-for-hire plot of Florida law professor
- READ: Charlie Adelson makes first appearance in court for Markel murder charges
- READ: Florida dentist charged with fatal hit on ex-brother-in-law
- READ: Sigfredo Garcia gets life in prison in law professor murder-for-hire trial