Charlie Adelson verdict: Wealthy dentist found guilty for the murder of Dan Markel

Mugshot of Charlie Adelson
Charlie Adelson was convicted of murder and is facing a mandatory life sentence. Pic credit: Leon County Sheriff’s Office

A jury in Tallahassee, Florida, had found wealthy dentist Charlie Adelson guilty of murder, conspiracy, and solicitation in the death of his brother-in-law Dan Markel.

It took a jury just three hours to find Adelson guilty on all counts. The convicted killer mouthed the word “no” and put his head down on the table before sitting emotionless as the rest of the guilty verdicts were read out. He is now facing a mandatory life sentence.

Prosecutors have not ruled out the possibility that more people connected to the Adelson family may be convicted. Adelson will be the fourth person sentenced to prison for the murder of Markel.

On July 18, 2014, 41-year-old Dan Markel was gunned down in his drive shortly after dropping his kids off at daycare. The victim was in the midst of a divorce and custody battle with his ex-wife Wendi Adelson, the sister of Adelson.

Adelson did not pull the trigger himself on Markel, but he was accused of organizing the murder by hiring gang members Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera to do the killing. It’s thought Adelson made contact with the hitmen through his girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua.

In 2016, Rivera, a vital member of the Latin Kings gang, admitted his involvement in the killing. He told the cops Garcia was the triggerman and claimed Magbanua was the link with Adelson.

Charlie Adelson implicated in Dan Markel murder by sister, Wendi Adelson

Adelson was also implicated in the crime by his sister, Wendi Adelson, who, when interviewed by the police on the day of her husband’s murder, “joked” that her brother had offered to kill Markel.

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The prosecution portrayed Adelson as a spoiled, wealthy playboy who arrogantly thought he could get away with murder, and the tactic seems to have worked.

Mugshot of Luis Rivera
Luis Rivera admitted his guilt and agreed to testify against his partners in crime. Pic credit: Miami Dade PD

Adelson claimed he was a victim of blackmail. On the stand, he said Magbanua came to him claiming Garcia and Rivera had killed Markel, and he would be next unless he paid them money. The jury didn’t buy it.

Dan Markel family describe ‘unbelievable joy’ at Charlie Adelson murder verdict

After the verdict was announced, Markel’s father, Phil Markel, said he was feeling “unbelievable joy, happiness,” and added, “It’s so long coming. It got to this point, and it’s just a good feeling.”

Markel’s sister, Shelly Markel, said, “It’s a funny thing to say, but it’s sort of tinged with this feeling of relief. It’s been a long time.”

Rivera previously pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and received a 19-year sentence.

Garcia pleaded not guilty, but a jury convicted him of murder, and he was given a life sentence.

Mugshots of Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua
Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua were given life sentences for their roles in murdering Dan Markel. Pic credit: FL Dept. of Corrections

Magbanua was convicted during a second trial and was also given life, but she is hoping for a sentence reduction after agreeing to testify against Adelson.

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