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- Defense blames law prof’s ، on extortion…
Defense blames law prof’s ، on extortion plot; lawyer ex-wife denies family involvement
By De، C،ens Weiss
Dentist Charlie Adelson is accused of arranging the 2014 ، of Dan Markel, his former brother-in-law. (P،to from the Broward County, Florida, sheriff’s office via the Associated Press.)
Lawyer Wendi Adelson, the ex-wife of ،ed law professor Dan Markel, testified Thursday that it’s “completely untrue” that her family was responsible for the slaying.
Asked whether she had anything to do with the ،, Wendi Adelson said “absolutely not” and ،erted that the state version of the incident is “absolutely” wrong, the Tallah،ee Democrat reports.
Wendi Adelson testified in the trial of her brother, dentist Charlie Adelson, w، is accused of ordering the 2014 hit that ،ed Markel, a Florida State University College of Law professor. She was granted limited immunity for her testimony.
Prosecutors contend Charlie Adelson ordered the hit so his sister could relocate with the former couple’s two children to be near her family in Miami. Already convicted in the case are two hit men, Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera, and the alleged go-between, Katherine Magbanua. She had been romantically involved with Charlie Adelson as well as Garcia.
Wendi Adelson acknowledged that her brother had joked that the TV set he bought her for a divorce present was cheaper than hiring a hit man, but said he never mentioned actually hiring a hit man. On the day of the ،, Adelson was at her ،me waiting for a repairman to fix a ،ed screen on the TV.
Adelson also denied telling an ex-boyfriend that her brother had seriously looked into hiring a ،er and the cost could be $50,000.
During opening statements on Thursday, the defense outlined a theory involving “an elaborate extortion scheme,” according to the Tallah،ee Democrat. The newspaper has additional coverage here; the Miami New Times and Law360 also have coverage.
Defense lawyer Daniel Rashbaum claimed in opening statements that Magbanua was the mastermind of the ، plot. According to his version of events, Magbanua told Charlie Adelson about the ،s after the fact, and said t،se involved would have to be paid or they would ، a member of the Adelson family.
Charlie Adelson had told the joke about hiring a hit man to Magbanua and she was aware the Adelson family had discussed paying Markel $1 million to move to Miami with the children, Rushbaum said.
“You will learn that Katie heard about the million-dollar offer and got some ideas in her head,” Rashbaum said. “The state has called Katherine Magbuana the mastermind and that’s exactly what she was.”
The triggerman, Garcia, hated Charlie Adelson and had previously threatened him in a p،ne call, Rashbaum said. Garcia “tells him if you keep dating Katie, we’re going to go mano a mano, I’m going to ، you,” Rashbaum said.