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Justice delayed


Eight years after Charlie Adelson (at least; other family members were almost certainly involved) used Katherine Magbanua as an intermediary to pay Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera $100,000 to murder law professor Dan Markel, Magbanua has finally been convicted of first degree murder for her part in the crime.

The chronology:

October 2016: Luis Rivera pleads guilty to his part in the crime, in exchange for a 19-year sentence, to run concurrently with another sentence he was currently serving at the time (Rivera and Garcia are members of a Miami gang). Rivera lays out the entire plot to prosecutors, which in any event was pretty much completely self-evident from the existing evidence in the state’s possession (phone and video recordings, financial transactions etc.)

October 2019: Garcia and Magbanua are tried together. Garcia is convicted and sentenced to life without parole. The jury can’t reach a verdict in Magbanua’s case, although there are reports the vote was 10-2 to convict.

May 2022: After many COVID-related delays. Magbanua is finally re-tried. After an 11-day trial she was convicted Friday of first degree murder.

As for Charlie Adelson, it has taken eight years merely to get him charged with the murder he so obviously paid others to commit against his former brother in law (He was finally charged last month). Donna Adelson, Markel’s former mother in law, has a pile of overwhelming evidence pointing towards her involvement in the plot, but for now at least it appears she’s never going to be charged with anything.

As for the role of Markel’s ex-wife Wendi Adelson in all this, that remains to put it mildly highly ambiguous. Interestingly, a few years ago Wendi Adelson applied for a job on the faculty of a certain law school, where she ended up being one of the finalists for the job. There was quite a little debate at the time among the faculty about whether it was, when making the employment decision, appropriate to take into account the possibility that she might have participated in the contract murder of her ex-husband.

A very sad footnote to this very sad story:

In a statement, Phil and Ruth Markel said they will continue to fight for justice and the opportunity to see their grandchildren, who they haven’t seen since 2016.

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