Charlie Adelson Is Serving Time for Dan Markel's Murder and He Isn't Alone

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jan. 19 2024, Published 3:32 p.m. ET

On July 29, 2014, a headline splashed across the Tallahassee Democrat: FSU law professor dies in shooting. Below those shocking words is a photo of a man smiling. His name is Dan Markel, and he was struck down in his home at the age of 41. Donald Weidner, dean of the FSU College of Law, told the press that he was "deeply saddened" about reporting this devastating news to Markel's colleagues and friends. Weidner also said their focus was on how they could support Markel's family at that time.

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What Weidner, police, and all involved didn't know at the time was, Markel's family was to blame. Actually it was his family by marriage, but that's still a hard pill to swallow. It was later discovered that Markel was the victim of a murder-for-hire plot that stemmed from a rancorous divorce and emotional battles between in-laws. Markel's brother-in-law, Charlie Adelson, was at the heart of this horrific crime. Where is he now? Here's what we know.

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Where is Charlie Adelson now? He's serving a life sentence in prison.

The Tallahassee Democrat reported Adelson's relocation from the "Leon County Detention Facility to the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections," in December 2023. Adelson has been incarcerated since Nov. 6 after an eight-day trial. He was sentenced to "life in prison for first-degree murder and 30 years to run consecutively for conspiracy and solicitation" by Leon Circuit Judge Stephen Everett. "I would just like to say that I maintain my innocence," said Markel to the court, via CBS News.

Adelson was the fourth person to go down for Markel's murder. He enlisted the help of his girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua, who hired the "father of her two children, Sigfredo Garcia, to commit the murder." Garcia then asked his childhood friend, Luis Rivera. Both Magbanua and Garcia are serving life sentences for first-degree murder while Rivera received a 19 year sentence for testifying against his co-conspirators. However, there was still one more possible player in this twisted game.

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Charlie Adelson's mother, Donna Adelson, was arrested in connection with the murder.

In a wild turn, Adelson's mother was arrested at the airport as she was attempting to leave the country with her husband. Per the New York Post, Donna Adelson said, "Oh here we go again," to police as they surrounded her in November 2023. Donna and her husband had one-way tickets to Vietnam, a country that does not have a formal extradition agreement with the U.S. Bodycam footage of Donna shows her being handcuffed by police at Miami International Airport.

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Donna "made her first appearance in a Leon County Court on Nov. 21, 2023, where she was formally charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy, and solicitation in connection to Markel’s death." Why would she allegedly be involved in Markel's murder? At the time he was killed, Markel and Donna Adelson's daughter were involved in a cantankerous custody battle over the couple's two children.

Prosecutors revealed they had in their possession emails that showed Donna "hated" her son-in-law and was "'desperate to find a way' to stop the law professor’s 'adamant' efforts to relocate her two grandsons from Tallahassee to South Florida." She allegedly told her son that she planned to leave the country, while speaking to him in a jailhouse call.

ABC News released recordings of their calls wherein Donna is heard saying, "We've been looking it up over and over, because things change," she said to Adelson after his conviction. "If there is extradition from Vietnam? Because we, we've looked at all the places, I mean, I could go to Korea and China, but there's no extradition, but looking for places where there's no extradition." Due to inclement weather, her hearing has been rescheduled to Jan. 30, 2024, via WCTV.

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