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Ex-Brother-In-Law Arrested In Connection With Florida Law Professor's 2014 Murder

Charlie Adelson has been arrested in connection with the 2014 murder-for-hire shooting of Dan Markel, his ex-brother-in-law who had been a law professor at Florida State University.

By Gina Tron
A Police hand out of Charlie Adelson

The former brother-in-law of a murdered law professor has been arrested in connection with his murder, nearly eight years after the legal eagle's slaying rocked Florida.

Charlie Adelson, 45, was arrested on Thursday morning and then booked on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder, according to Broward County Jail records.

He is the former brother-in-law of Dan Markel, a Florida State University law professor who was fatally shot execution-style in his Tallahassee garage in broad daylight by hired hitmen in 2014, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.

Adelson, a Fort Lauderdale dentist, was indicted on Wednesday by a grand jury for the shooting, which investigators allege was a murder-for-hire in which Adelson participated.

Investigators say newly enhanced audio from a 2016 meeting revealed Adelson and his ex-girlfriend and dental assistant, Katherine Magbanua, allegedly discussing the shooting and details implicating him in the murder conspiracy.

Magbanua, now 38, is currently scheduled stand trial in the case on May 16, NBC Miami reports. She was the alleged liaison between the hitmen and their financier(s) — now alleged to be Charlie Adelson — who allegedly paid $100,000 to have Markel killed.

Prosecutors claim that the murder was driven by a desire of the Adelson family — in particularly, Charlie and his mother, Donna Adelson — for Markel’s two young sons with ex-wife Wendi Adelson to remain closer to them, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Markel, a practicing attorney, and Wendi Andelson were embroiled in a custody suit at the time of his death in 2014 after a divorce that kicked off when Markel came home to an empty house and divorce papers after a business trip in 2012, according to People. The divorce was granted in 2013 but Markel was attempting to force his ex-wife to bring the kids back to Tallahassee from her parents' home in south Florida, and to prevent Donna Adelson from accessing them due to "disparaging remarks" she had made about him to his sons.

The hearing on the allegations against Donna Adelson were pending at the time of Markel's murder. Charles Adelson had been implicated in Markel’s murder immediately, but there has, until now, never been enough evidence to charge him.

Charlie Adelson's attorney David Oscar Markus told the Tallahassee Democrat that his client is innocent while noting the timing of the arrest.

"Charlie is innocent and the prosecutors have no new information that led to this arrest," Markus stated. "The timing sure does stink, doesn’t it? On the eve of a long-awaited trial of Katie [Magbanua], this move has the smell of desperation."

Hitman Sigfredo Garcia, 39, was convicted of killing Markel in 2019. He was sentenced to life behind bars for pulling the trigger when Markel was shot twice in the head.

He had enlisted his childhood friend Luis Rivera to participate in the shooting; Rivera is currently serving 19 years for his role. 

Magbanua is the mother of Garcia’s two children. 

The intricate case was previously featured on NBC’s “Dateline.”