Donna Adelson arrested on charges of arranging the murder of son-in-law Dan Markel

Mugshot of Donna Adelson
Donna Adelson was charged with the murder of Dan Markel. Pic credit: Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Dept

The authorities in Florida have arrested and charged Donna Sue Adelson on accusations of plotting the murder of her son-in-law, university professor Dan Markel, in 2014.

The 73-year-old was reportedly arrested Monday night at Miami International Airport as she attempted to board a flight with her husband, Harvey Adelson, to Vietnam. The pair had one-way tickets.

The arrest comes just one week after Donna’s son, Dr. Charlie Adelson, was found guilty of soliciting the murder of Markel. He is facing a mandatory life sentence, which will likely be confirmed next month.

Markel was 41 years old when he was gunned down in his drive in Tallahassee, Leon County, Fl., by gang members Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera in July 2014. He had been going through an acrimonious divorce with his wife Wendi Adelson, daughter to Donna, and brother to Charlie.

During Charlie’s trial, it emerged that he had given his girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua, hundreds of thousands of dollars to split with Garcia and Rivera on the condition they murdered Markel.

After a guilty verdict was returned on Charlie, prosecutors refused to rule out any more arrests involving the Adelson family.

Wendi Adelson told the cops her family may have killed Dan Markel

Wendi had previously implicated her family in the murder by telling investigators, albeit in a jokey manner, that Charlie had offered to kill her ex-husband and that her parents were “very angry at Markel.”

Watch the Latest on our YouTube Channel

The police say that in the week since Charlie’s conviction, Donna Adelson has allegedly discussed getting her affairs in order and moving to a country without an extradition treaty with the US. The cops say she even contemplated suicide.

Mugshot of Charlie Adelson
Charlie Adelson is facing a life sentence for organizing the murder of Dan Markel. Pic credit: Leon County Jail

Charlie’s trial also revealed that the Adelson family had been heavily involved in Wendi’s divorce from Markel. The wealthy south Florida family had offered Markel $1 million to allow Wendi to move their children back to Miami.

Donna was also accused of telling Wendi to convert the Jewish children to Catholicism as a way to get back at Markel, purely because the Jewish faith was very important to him.

Donna and Harvey Adelson were head of a wealthy family undone by the murder of Dan Markel

Donna Adelson is the matriarch of the wealthy Adelson family, who are well-known in Florida for their work in dentistry as spearheaded by patriarch and Donna’s husband, Harvey Adelson.

Their son Charlie followed in their father’s footsteps but was portrayed as a spoiled playboy during his trial.

It is unclear if Harvey or Wendi will face any charges in the case. A third sibling, Robert Adelson, is allegedly estranged from the rest of the family.

The case was initially cracked open when gunman Luis Rivera pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against his co-conspirators. He received a 19-year jail sentence.

Garcia and Magbanua were both convicted by juries of murder and sentenced to life. Magbanua has since agreed to testify against the other conspirators in the case.

Leon County State Attorney Jack Campbell has not ruled out further arrests of the Adelson family, stating that the case remains open.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x