TPD releases new reports in Markel murder case

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By: Julie Montanaro
September 9, 2016

The state attorney says no to more arrests in the murder of FSU professor Dan Markel. We told you about newly released documents in the case last night.

Police were seeking an arrest warrant for Markel's ex-brother in law and his girlfriend and say if they get more information they'll try again.

"We said no, we're not going to approve a warrant and that's the end of the story," State Attorney Willie Meggs said. "Unless there's something additional to them, we're still not."

The state attorney refused to okay murder charges against Charlie Adelson and his former girlfriend Katherine Magbanua.

"When we looked at them there's a lot of speculation," Meggs said of the probable cause affidavits. "What we need is evidence."

"Many times we submit probable cause affidavits to the state attorneys office and they say 'that's not something we can move forward with," TPD Spokesman David Northway said, "and in this case they made that decision."

Court documents released Thursday outline what police believe is conspiracy among Adelson, Magbanua and the two men already arrested in Dan Markel's murder: Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera.

They show a series of phone calls the day of Markel's murder. They show Garcia and Rivera bought new cars and motorcycles within weeks of the murder and suggest the Adelson's started writing checks to Magbanua.

They also reveal an undercover agent trying to force the Adelsons to pay him off to keep quiet.

A series of wire taps detailed in the court papers claim to have captured Charlie Adelson telling Katherine Magbanua " ... you better kill him, because he's going to be a big problem ... if you can't do it, I'll have someone else do it."

Tallahassee police insist the case is not closed.

"We can add to those (probable cause affidavits)," TPD Spokesman David Northway said. "So if there was more information that came in now that said "a,b,c about Charlie Adelson or Katherine Magbanua, then we would simply add to them and resubmit them again."

"Our officers are continuing to work," Northway said. "Now's the time to call us. Our tip line is going, it's still active and we are continuing to work this case. We are not stopping."

"I think it was a murder for hire. I don't know that anyone's convinced who did the hiring - i-n-g," said neighbor and friend Reggie Garcia.
"You know, I think folks feel terrible that a man in his prime was struck down and two young boys are going to grow up without a father.
So everyone wants answers," Garcia said.

Charlie Adelson's attorney, David Oscar Markus, commended the state attorney for his decision, saying the probable cause affidavit "amounted to no more than simple speculation after a truly exhaustive investigation."

Katherine Magbanua's attorney has not yet responded to our request for comment.


By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 9, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Tallahassee Police Department has released probable cause reports in the murder investigation of slain Florida State University professor Dan Markel.

Thursday, TPD released the reports pursuant to a public records request.

Included in those probable cause reports are Dan Markel's former brother-in-law, Charlie Adelson, and Adelson's girlfriend, Katherine Magbanua. Neither Adelson nor Magbanua have been charged in Markel's murder.

TPD says during the course of the investigation, they submitted the probable cause affidavits to the State Attorney’s Office for review.

The state attorney confirms he approved charges against Sigfredo Garcia and Luis Rivera, but rejected going forward with charges against Charles Adelson and Katherine Magbanua.

We reached out to State Attorney Willie Meggs Thursday evening.

Meggs said, "We did not feel there was sufficient evidence to go forward" with charges against Adelson and Magbanua.

Meggs continued to say, "What a police officer believes does not count for anything. It's what is your evidence, what testimony, who's going to testify about what you believe. Because you can't testify what you believe."

When asked if there will be any more arrests in the Markel murder case, Meggs said, "Not unless we get more evidence."

Thursday evening, Charles Adelson's attorney, David Oscar Markus, released a statement regarding the release of the probable cause reports. The statement reads, "Mr. Meggs has spent the past 40 years as a prosecutor, with 30 years as State Attorney, and before that was a decorated police officer. He is one of the most experienced State Attorneys in the nation and he knows probable cause when he sees it. We are thankful that he faithfully and honorably fulfilled his duties and did not approve this document, which amounted to no more than simple speculation after a truly exhaustive investigation."

The probable cause affidavits for Charles Adelson and Katherine Magbanua were never signed by a judge.

They detail phone records, financial records and undercover surveillance of the family for nearly two years after Markel's murder.

A probable cause affidavit for Charles Adelson says there were a flurry of phone calls on July 1, 2014 among Charles Adelson, Katherine Magbanua, Sigfredo Garcia and a phone registered to Harvey Adelson.

The probable cause affidavit shows on the day of the murder - July 18, 2014 - there was also a flurry of phone calls between midnight and 1 a.m. among Charles Adelson, Donna Adelson, Katherine Magbanua and Sigfredo Garcia.

The probable cause goes on to detail a series of expensive purchases in the days and months after the murder.

The probable cause says Garcia got two cars and a motorcycle in the weeks following the murder. Rivera got a motorcycle within ten days of the murder.

It goes on to say that Katherine Magbanua started receiving checks from the family's dental practice, the Adelson Institute, beginning in September 2014 and continued to receive those checks until January 2016.

The probable cause affidavit says in the year prior to Markel's murder Magbanua made cash deposits totaling $15,000, but in the months following the murder made cash deposits totaling $44,000.

The probable cause affidavit also mentions one of Wendi Adelson's ex-boyfriends. He told police that she told him her brother had looked into hiring a hit-man the summer before and was told it would cost $15,000.

The probable cause affidavit for Charles Adelson says after a judge refused to allow Wendi Adelson to move her sons to South Florida in June 2013, the family discussed paying Dan Markel a million dollars to allow the children to relocate - with Wendi, Charles and their parents each paying a third.

It says a year after the murder, Wendi Adelson changed her children's names from Markel to Adelson. She told investigators it was to protect her children.

To view the redacted probable cause report for Charlie Adelson, click here.

To view the redacted probable cause report for Katherine Magbanua, click here. The complete report is the same as Adelson's, which is detailed here.



 
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