Now Mom Has Been Arrested in Wild Murder-for-Hire Scheme

Entire Adelson family has long been under suspicion in murder of Daniel Markel
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2023 12:30 AM CST
Now Mom Has Been Arrested in Wild Murder-for-Hire Scheme
This booking photo provided by the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Donna Adelson.   (Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

The wild story of the 2014 murder of Daniel Markel just got even wilder: Days after Charles Adelson was convicted of hiring hit men to kill Markel, his former brother-in-law, Adelson's mother has been arrested. Prosecutors have long looked at Adelson's family—sister Wendi, Markel's ex-wife, and their parents Donna and Harvey—as likely conspirators in the murder-for-hire scheme, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Per court records, Donna Adelson can be heard in phone calls to her jailed son following his conviction discussing a possible plan to flee the country to somewhere without an extradition treaty with the US, NBC News reports. Prosecutors say she and her husband were on their way to Vietnam, which is such a country, when the 73-year-old was arrested at Miami International Airport Monday night.

The couple had allegedly purchased one-way tickets. A prosecutor explains to the Democrat that while police and prosecutors had enough evidence to arrest Donna Adelson, the timetable for doing so was pushed up considerably by the couple's alleged travel plans. She faces the same charges of which her son was found guilty: first-degree murder, conspiracy and solicitation. Her husband, and the couple's daughter, remain free, but a prosecutor notes the investigation is still open, the AP reports. Wendi Adelson testified during her brother's trial, denying the family's involvement in her ex-husband's death, which came amid a custody dispute. Wendi Adelson wanted to move closer to her family with the former couple's young sons and was not allowed to by a court; prosecutors allege her parents had the means to finance the murder-for-hire plan. (More Daniel Markel stories.)

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