Skip To Content
Breaking News

Dan Markel In-Laws Escape Murder Charge in Killing of Florida Law Professor

— Florida’s state attorney has dismissed as “speculation” affidavits from Tallahassee police implicating the in-laws of slain law professor Dan Markel in his murder.

On Thursday, the Tallahassee Democrat newspaper obtained the affidavits, in which the Tallahassee Police Department lays out its case for why Markel’s ex-wife’s brother, Charlie Adelson, and her mother, Donna Adelson, should be considered prime suspects in his slaying.

Police say Charlie Adelson looked into hiring a hit man the summer before Markel was killed, in the midst of Markel’s bitter divorce from Wendi Adelson.

Two South Florida men with extensive criminal backgrounds have been charged with the murder of the popular legal scholar in the driveway of his home in July 2014, in what police say was a murder for hire.

State Attorney Willie Meggs said, however, that the speculative nature of the police evidence would make it difficult to secure a conviction or even proceed with a trial for Charlie Adelson and Katherine Magabanua, his former girlfriend. She is the mother of the children of one of the men charged in Markel’s murder.

“My opinion after reading those documents is there is no probable cause here to make an arrest,” Meggs told the Tallahassee Democrat. “We kind of believe they were involved according to the police. But what we believe and what we think doesn’t count. What evidence do we have?”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.