Tamarac Dentist Charged In Murder Of FSU Law Professor

Tamarac Dentist Charged In Murder Of FSU Law Professor

Charlie Adelson {BSO} and Dan Markel

By Kevin Deutsch

A Tamarac dentist has been charged with first-degree murder, nearly eight years after he plotted the brazen daytime execution of a Florida State University law professor—in the victim’s own garage, prosecutors said.

Charlie Adelson, 45, is also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation of murder in the 2014 killing of Dan Markel, 41. Markel was locked in a bitter child custody dispute with Adelson’s sister, Wendi, who was Markel’s ex-wife, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Adelson is accused of hiring the hitmen who killed Markel, a Harvard Law School graduate, at his Tallahassee home. The FBI took the periodontist into custody without incident at his Broward County residence on April 21, according to the bureau.

Jack Campbell, the state attorney in Tallahassee, said Adelson was indicted by a Leon County grand jury in connection with the murder-for-hire plot.

Records show Adelson ran a dental office at 7737 N. University Dr. in Tamarac before his arrest. It was not clear from records where Adelson lived in Broward.

“The law-enforcement team behind this continuing investigation will not rest until justice is delivered to every person involved in this terrible crime,” Campbell said in a written statement.

Investigators have long suspected Adelson and his mother, Donna, were involved in Markel’s killing, court records show.

Their crucial break in the case was a video recording, covertly made by the FBI on Miami Beach, of a meeting between Adelson and his then-girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua. She allegedly helped the dentist carry out the execution plot, prosecutors said.

The recording of their 2016 meeting, which took place at the South Beach Mexican restaurant Dulce Vida, captured the two discussing the murder conspiracy, according to prosecutors. But the extracted audio was only recently enhanced to the point that certain parts of their conversation became audible.

“If you want to arrest me, fucking arrest me,” Adelson is heard saying in the recording, according to Florida Politics. “Come back with a warrant.”

Magbanua, who worked in Adelson’s dental office, has also been indicted in Markel’s murder. She is scheduled to stand trial starting May 16, records show.

The evidence gathered by investigators shows Adelson’s family bankrolled Markel’s murder, according to court records.

“Email evidence indicates Wendi’s parents, especially her mother, wanted Wendi to coerce Markel into allowing the relocation to South Florida,” authorities wrote in charging documents. “Additionally, Wendi’s brother, Charles Adelson…reportedly did not like Markel and did not get along with him.”

One of the gunmen who killed Markel was Sigfredo Garcia, who has already been convicted of first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder in the case, records show.

Garcia shares children with Magbanua, authorities said.

Another gunman allegedly involved in Markel’s killing, Luis Rivera, is a Latin Kings street gang member in South Florida, prosecutors said. He has accepted a plea deal from prosecutors in the Markel case.

Garcia and Rivera were childhood friends “enlisted” to kill the law professor, according to court records. They drove from Miami to Tallahassee in a rented Toyota Prius and stayed in hotel rooms in the days leading up to the murder in Markel’s garage, according to prosecutors.

Adelson was being held without bond in a Tallahassee jail Friday, records show.

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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