Sunday, October 2, 2022

Florida dentist charged with murderous attack on former brother-in-law

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ( Associated Press) — A Florida dentist was arrested Thursday on charges that he hired hit men to kill his sister’s ex-husband, a prominent law professor, eight years ago, so that he could move from Tallahassee. back to the Fort Lauderdale area. with his two children.

Charles Adelson, 45, was being held without bond in Broward County Jail on Thursday on charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy to murder and soliciting murder after being arrested at his home by US marshals. He awaits transfer to Tallahassee. His lawyer said on Thursday that he was innocent.

Adelson and other members of his family have long been cited by prosecutors and investigators as potential suspects on the July 18, 2014, murder of Florida State University law professor Daniel Merkel by two men at his Tallahassee home Went. Merkel, 41, was married to Wendy Adelson, who was unable to return to South Florida because Markel had joint custody of their young children after a highly contentious divorce.

Lyon County State Attorney Jack Campbell said in a statement that Adelson was indicted by a grand jury after technicians tried to amplify the sound on a video recording in April 2016 while secretly speaking to Katherine Magbanua, an ex-girlfriend and employee. were capable. Six months later he was charged with organizing the murder. Adelson was under observation.

“This recording contains statements from Charles Adelson that can be heard clearly for the first time,” Campbell said.

Magbanua is to appear again next month on charges of first-degree murder after the jury was hanged in 2019. Prosecutors say he hired Siegfredo García, the father of his two children, to commit the murders and enlisted the help of his childhood friend. , Luis Rivera.

Prosecutors said the two men drove from South Florida to Tallahassee to execute the plan, followed Merkel on the morning of the shooting as she dropped her kids off at day care and stopped at the gym. When Merkel returned home, Garcia shot her while he was sitting in his car and talking on his cellphone.

Garcia is serving a life sentence after being found guilty of first-degree murder in 2019. Rivera is serving a 19-year sentence after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in return for testifying against García and Magbanua.

Adelson’s lawyer, David Marcus, said his client was innocent and Magbanua’s trial was linked to the arrest.

“Prosecutors have no new information that led to this arrest. Time sure stinks, right? On the eve of (Magbanua)’s long-awaited trial, the move smells of desperation, Marcus said in an emailed statement.

Campbell did not specify which statements led to Adelson’s arrest, but in a 41-minute recording released Thursday afternoon, Adelson sits with Magbanua at a noisy Mexican restaurant. The hidden camera recording them appears to be sitting on a bench in the corridor.

Adelson, dressed in shorts and a T-shirt, previously told Magbanua that if the police had known, “we would have already been to the airport.” Then he told her that the police just keeping someone in the car or with someone else isn’t enough for a conviction – they and prosecutors need proof that the person was involved in the crime.

Then he told her that someone had come to her mother and was demanding money. He told Magbanua that the man knew the details about the murder and mentioned it.

But as she wondered whether the extortionist might have been an undercover police officer trying to harass her mother, she denied any involvement in the shooting – something she did during the rest of the conversation. did it repeatedly.

“If it’s a cop, I’m happy because I have nothing to hide,” Adelson told Magbanua.

He then told Magbanua that he would have to contact the extortionist and tell him that a lump sum payment would be made, but that Adelson would contact the police if he or someone else demanded the money.

“The whole time you’re talking, you just say, ‘I don’t know what’s going on,'” Adelson told her. “If it is the police, they cannot take the money. They won’t even come to see you.”

He tells Magbanua that his mother cannot meet the extortionist as this will lead to further demands.

“If my parents were to blame, they might think they have a really big fish that’s going to pay them monthly.” They said. He tries to assuage Magbanua’s concerns by saying, “You giving someone some money is not a confession of any kind of guilt.”

This story has been corrected to show that Adelson’s restaurant interactions were with a co-respondent, not her mother.

This story has been corrected to show that Adelson was sitting with Magbanua at a Mexican restaurant.

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Nation World News Desk
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