UPDATE: Prosecutors rest their case against Charlie Adelson

Posted at 9:06 AM, Nov 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-01 18:21:42-04

TALLAHASEE, Fla. (WTXL) — ABC 27's Kendall Brandt is in the courtroom for witness testimony in the trial of Charlie Adelson. He is accused of hiring hitmen to murder FSU Law professor Dan Markel in 2014 in his Betton Hills home during a custody dispute between Markel and Adelson's sister, Wendi.

Click here for our coverage from when Adelson was arrested last year.

UPDATE 11/1/2023 3:15 P.M.

After over five hours of showing jurors recorded conversations, prosecutors rested their case against Charlie Adelson.

The defense is now renewing all objections they have previously raised.

Defense attorney Kate Meyers said the evidence does not show Adelson reaching out to two of the murderers. She also raised questions about the credibility of Katherine Magbanua's testimony.

UPDATE 11/1/2023 12:05 A.M.

After a short break, prosecutor Georgia Cappleman played more phone calls.

The phone calls followed the conversation Adelson and Magbanua had following their recorded conversation at Dolce Vita, a restaurant in Miami.

The conversation surrounds the two trying to figure out who is blackmailing the Adelson family after an undercover FBI agent approached Donna, Adelson's mother, on the street. Both think it could be law enforcement.

After the meeting, phone calls depict Adelson and Magbanua planning on how they will discover the identity of the blackmailer.

Tension between Magbanua and Adelson increase as the phone calls are played.

Adelson asked Magbanua to call the number given to Donna by the undercover FBI agent.

After she refused and said the phone number is not working, Adelson calls the number himself.

The undercover FBI agent was posing as the brother of one of the hitmen involved in the murder.

The agent told Adelson that his family was not compensated for their work to take care of the Adelson family's "...problem up north...."

On the phone call, Adelson said he did not know the people the agent mentioned to him. He said he had no idea what he was talking about.

Adelson called Magbanua after the call. He told Magbanua that he told the agent he did not know the people mentioned in the phone call.

Cappleman played more calls. One call between Donna Adelson, Charlie's mom, and himself.

Adelson told his mom that he believes the FBI agent posing as a blackmailer could be a private investigator hired by the Markel family.

UPDATE 11/1/2023 9:18 A.M.

Jurors continued listening to recorded phone calls Charlie Adelson made to his mother in 2016.

The first call presented focused on a meeting Adelson had with Katherine Magbanua, one of the convicted killers, after an undercover FBI agent confronted Donna Adelson.

In the phone call, Adelson tells his mother Donna that he met with a "friend" to give her "...relationship advice...."

FBI Special Agent Pat Sanford testified that Adelson was speaking about Magbanua when referring to a friend in the phone call. He also said "relationship advice" was code for interaction with law enforcement.

Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman played another phone call. This time it was not Adelson's voice playing back.

The phone call was between Magbanua and Sigfredo Garcia, one of the hitmen involved in the murder.

Magbanua told Garcia about what happened in her conversation with Adelson about the FBI agent.

Garcia got upset with Magbanua and refused to call the phone number the undercover agent left Donna.

The prosecution continued to play other phone calls Adelson and Magbanua made where they use code words to disguise speaking about the undercover FBI agent directly on the phone.