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An enhanced audio recording led to the arrest of Charlie Adelson in Dan Markel murder investigation

Adelson mugshot
Broward County Sheriff's Office
Adelson mugshot

Charlie Adelson, the brother of Dan Markel's ex-wife, has been arrested in connection with the 2014 murder of the FSU law professor. Adelson is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and solicitation of murder.

For years prosecutors have had access to a video recorded by an undercover FBI agent that showed a meeting between Adelson and Katherine Magbanua, the ex-girlfriend of convicted shooter Sigfredo Garcia, at a Miami Beach restaurant called Dolce Vita in 2016. Georgia Cappleman, a prosecutor with the state attorney’s office, says new audio enhancement clarifies what was said that day.

“The new evidence in the case is not really new evidence, it’s old evidence, but a new clarification which was done by a new audio expert,” said Cappleman. “The enhancement was able to allow us for the first time to hear many statements that are uttered in that restaurant conversation by Charlie Adelson for the first time.”

The video shows Adelson and Magbanua discussing a potential blackmail situation for more than 40 minutes. The tape was recorded by undercover FBI agents.

Investigators have worked for years to decipher the audio.

Magbanua was tried alongside Garcia in October of 2019 and she was accused of being the go-between for the Adelsons, and Garcia and Luis Rivera, who had already confessed his role in helping carry out Markel's murder.

Though Garcia was convicted, jurors couldn't reach a decision on Magbanua's case and it ended in a mistrial. During the trial, the Adelson family, specifically Charlie Adelson, were repeatedly implicated but no one in the family had been charged with a crime at that time.

Magbanua had previously dated Adelson and at one point was employed at his South Florida dental firm. She was also in a prior relationship with Garcia, one of the convicted gunmen in the case.

Magbanua's retrial is slated to begin next month.

Follow @bgrutherford99

Brett Rutherford is a reporter and news researcher at WFSU Pubic Media. From Riverview, Florida, he has earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Florida State University. During his time at Florida State, he was a reporter within the sports department at WVFS, the student-run on-campus radio station. In 2020, he served as Sports Director during his senior year and hosted the weekly talk show Tomahawk Talk.

Email Brett: brutherford2@fsu.edu