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NEW: Jury seated for trial of man accused of arranging FSU law professor's murder

The jury was seated just before 5 p.m. Wednesday
Posted at 11:20 AM, Oct 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-25 18:14:39-04

UPDATE 10/25/2023 5 P.M.

A jury has been seated in the trial of Charlie Adelson. Wednesday afternoon, the final round of jury selection wrapped up.

The defense and prosecution agreed on a jury after two rounds of group questioning. Four jurors from the first panel of 21 potential jurors and 8 from the second were selected.

The state and defense questioned jurors in a group before selecting jurors to dismiss. Prosecutor, Georgia Cappleman, asked potential jurors on their opinions on what evidence they would like to see in the case and their thoughts on their experiences with the criminal justice system.

Defense attorney, Josh Dubin, asked if people had negative feelings surrounding dentists, their thoughts on a defendant not testifying in their own trial, as well as opinions on not liking in-laws or ex-spouses of family members.

Six people were dismissed for cause, meaning they did not understand legal theories explained or had a bias. Both the defense and prosecution used all of their 10 strikes when dismissing jurors.

Opening statements will start Thursday morning.

UPDATE 10/25/2023 11:20 A.M.

ABC 27's Kendall Brandt is in the jury room while Judge Everett, prosecutors and Adelson defense attorneys discuss the potential jurors in the current pool. They have eliminated four for cause. The defense struck 5 jurors and the prosecution eliminated 2. Ten are still remaining in this panel. They need to seat 12 jurors and 3 alternates.

Group questioning for the final round of jury selection resumed Wednesday morning. Adelson defense attorney, Josh Dubin, kicked off his examination by asking the pool their thoughts on a defendant not testifying in their own trial.

UPDATE 10/24/2023 7:50 P.M.

Judge Stephen Everett ended the final round of jury selection for the day on Tuesday evening at 6:15. The selection will resume around 9 a.m. Wednesday.

UPDATE 10/24/2023 2:46 P.M.

Adelson's defense attorney Josh Dubin argued that the case should be moved to South or Central Florida. He said the jury selection demonstrates that too many people have knowledge and opinions on Adelson due to local and national news coverage.

Judge Everett denied the motion. Group questioning began at 2:45.

UPDATE 10/24/2023 1:30 P.M.

Judge Stephen Everett told prosecutors and defense attorneys around 12:30 p.m. that they have 55 jurors for the last round of selection. The judge then put court in recess for lunch break.

They still need at least five jurors to move on to the final round of selection.

UPDATE 10/24/2023 10:30 A.M.

Tuesday, 41 potential jurors were asked to return after the first day of selection. ABC 27's Kendall Brandt was in the courtroom as selection got underway Tuesday morning. Judge Everett says he wants at least 60 for the group questioning.

UPDATE 10/23/2023 9:43 P.M.:
A Leon county judge questioned 100 jurors well into the evening Monday for the first round of jury selection for the trial of Charlie Adelson.

Judge Stephen Everett called 41 jurors to come back for further questioning.

Adelson is on trial for the murder-for-hire plot to have his former brother-in-law FSU Law professor Dan Markel killed in 2014.

This stems from what prosecutors through the years have called a bitter divorce and custody battle between Wendy Adelson, Charlie's sister and Markel.

Three people have already been convicted for his murder.

The latest was Adelson's former girlfriend Katherine Magbanua, who was sentenced in 2022 to life in prison for first-degree murder.

The murder of Adelson has been the highlight for many crime podcasts and shows, gaining its high-profile status.

The publicity of the trial is creating a longer than usual pool of jurors to pull from with 900 jurors summonsed.

Local criminal attorney Don Pumphrey has been following this case for years.

He said jury selection may take a couple of days due to the high profile nature of the case.

"Now, it's coming to fruition and the majority of people that have been around have followed it so that's why you have more jurors because you need jurors that haven't heard a lot about the case or haven't been involved in it as far as keeping up with the media," Pumphrey said. "You want fair and impartial jurors."

Judge Everett said selection could last until Thursday.

ABC 27's Kendall Brand sat in for the questioning of 19 potential jurors. One of the potential jurors was excused because they had served on the jury for Magbanua's trial. Another was let go for posts he had made about Adelson on social media.

ORIGINAL POST 10/23/2023 11:20 A.M.:

Jury selection has begun in the murder trial of Charlie Adelson. The trial started Monday morning in a courtroom in downtown Tallahassee.

Adelson, the former brother-in-law of murdered Florida State University law professor Dan Markel, was arrested in April of 2022. According to The Associated Press, it's alleged that Adelson arranged the killing so his sister could move back to the Fort Lauderdale area from Tallahassee with her two children.

ABC 27's Kendall Brandt is in court tracking the progress. Follow her for updates here.

Judge Stephen Everett told potential jurors he expects the trial to take about three weeks.

At 11 a.m. on July 18, 2014, as Dan Markel was pulling into his garage, he got a call and told the man on the line there was someone he didn’t recognize in his driveway. There was a muffled sound and Markel was never heard from again.

Markel’s next door neighbor heard what he thought might be gunshots, went over to Markel’s garage to investigate and then ran back to his home to call 911, telling the operator, "His driver’s side window was shattered and he’s spattered and can’t answer. He’s inside the car, the car is running, and he’s got blood all over his head. He’s not responding to me."

Markel was rushed to a local hospital with two gunshot wounds to his head.