GUILTY FL - Dan Markel, 41, FSU Law Professor, Tallahassee, 18 July 2014 *arrests* #11

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clearskies1

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If I understand this correctly, when Wendi pulled onto Trescott the morning of the murder, she got as far as actually being able to see the house. Unlike other motorists, she didn’t pause or chit chat with the officers to find out what was happening, but instead turned around quickly and got out of dodge. Anybody with small kids living at their exes house, seeing a police scene like that, would inquire or call the ex to be sure the kids were ok. Perhaps it went down before DM had the chance to get the kids to daycare. Absence of any info at such a scene would drive a caring parent into obsessive paranoia until the kids are found safe. She must have called the daycare to learn that DM deposited them safely at the scheduled time before viewing the police scene.
My understanding is that the police tape was up at the intersection of Centerville Rd and Trescott and Dan's house was quite a distance down Trescott from Centerville and around a curve. So the house would not be visible from where the crime tape was.
 

jbc

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My understanding is that the police tape was up at the intersection of Centerville Rd and Trescott and Dan's house was quite a distance down Trescott from Centerville and around a curve. So the house would not be visible from where the crime tape was.
Hi Clearskies1 -- I had thought that too. But today, the officer manning the road block was asked by GC whether you could see from the roadblock that the LE activity was happening at the Markel residence. And, the officer said yes. That, indeed, was different than I previously had thought.

There's no way if I had small kids at my exe's house with police cars in the driveway and surrounding the house that I don't immediately go into extraordinary search mode to find out if my kids are ok. And I don't stop until I get the answer - call my ex, call neighbors, call the police, call the daycare, call the news media and in the absence of any info, ask friends if they know what's going on....ad infinitum. I blow-off every meeting, any class I might have to teach, any book I might be writing, forget about any lunch date or party. No possible way I stop for anything until I know with absolute certainty the kids are safe.

Unless, of course, I'm already absolutely positive I know my kids are safe and I don't give a rat's "behind" about what might have gone down in the house. She must have known. I'm really not liking Wendi.

[note on edit: of course, what any reasonable person does is roll down your car window, tell the officer that's the house of your ex, get out of your car, and ask what's happening because you are concerned about your kids and what is happening.... my mind is boggled.]
 
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clearskies1

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Hi Clearskies1 -- I had thought that too. But today, the officer manning the road block was asked by GC whether you could see from the roadblock that the LE activity was happening at the Markel residence. And, the officer said yes. That, indeed, was different than I previously had thought.

There's no way if I had small kids at my exe's house with police cars in the driveway and surrounding the house that I don't immediately go into extraordinary search mode to find out if my kids are ok. And I don't stop until I get the answer - call my ex, call neighbors, call the police, call the daycare, call the news media and in the absence of any info, ask friends if they know what's going on....ad infinitum.. No possible way I stop for anything.

Unless, of course, I'm already absolutely positive I know my kids are safe and I don't give a rat's "behind" about what might have gone down in the house. She must have known. I'm really not liking Wendi.
Ok, I didn't hear the officer's testimony today. In another thread someone who seemed to have an understanding of the area said otherwise. I understand your point. JMO.
 

clearskies1

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I thought Kawass was arguing that Rivera should not be able to testify about what Garcia (allegedly) told him about Katie because there was no independent proof (aside from Garcia's hearsay statements) of Katie's involvement in the conspiracy. But the prosecutor said that there will be separate evidence of Katie's involvement in the conspiracy -- that separate evidence being that Rivera directly heard Katie talk about the murder when Garcia and Katie spoke on the phone. So it's not just Garcia telling Rivera what Katie said, it's also Rivera directly hearing Katie talk about the murder. With the understanding that there would be such evidence (of Rivera hearing Katie discuss the murder), the judge allowed the "hearsay" statements of Garcia to come in. That's what I thought happened on that issue. JMO.
Responding to my own post to say that I do understand the timing issue -- that Cappleman is apparently relying on an alleged post-shooting statement by Katie as independent evidence of a conspiracy and maybe that won't be sufficient under the law.
 

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for Thursday, May 19th Day 2:

Jada E. Williams
@JadaEWilliams
We're back from break. Luis Rivera is now testifying. This could go into the morning. He's the one who took a plea deal in exchange for information. So arguably the most important witness in this trial for the state. A witness the defense says lacks credibility.

Luis "Tato" Rivera has been convicted of 10 felonies. He's in federal prison on two concurrent sentences: a federal RICO and for the murder. He got 19 years for his cooperation, or as he just called it "snitch".

"It's nothing sweet about feds, it's all the same." The state getting Rivera to talk about prison conditions. In the defense's opening, they mentioned Rivera is in a better prison because it's federal, not state. If he were only in prison for Markel's murder, he would be in state

Rivera says he's no longer a member of the Latin Kings gang because of his cooperation with the state. He says people have tried to kill him in prison because of cooperation. He says this murder has nothing to do with the Latin Kings. but "the rules is the rules"

Rivera says Sigfredo Garcia hired him to kill Dan Markel. He says Sigfredo's "wife" Katherine gave Garcia the job and the money. He called her the mastermind. He didn't know Dan Markel, he just knew he was getting paid.

Rivera said he doesn't know "The Dentist" and never personally met him. He just knew it was Katherine's boyfriend. He never knew of contact between Garcia and Charlie Adelson.

Rivera says Sigfredo knew Magbanua was seeing a dentist, but didn't know his name. He said Garcia never mentioned the dentist was behind the murder. Only that Wendi Adelson was paying for the murder to help her get her kids back.

Rivera says all contact with the hitmen was done by KM. He said Garcia didn't like Charlie because he was dating KM. Rivera says he was paid more than $30k for the murder and KM is the person who paid him.

Rivera said halfway through the trip to Tallahassee, he thought the job he was paid to do was a robbery. He said he bought a gun off the street specifically to kill Markel with. "It was a murder to get two kids back to the lady."

"I sit there and wait for him to drop the kids off. Then I followed him to the gym."- Rivera describes waiting on Markel. "When he gets to the house, when he made it into the garage, I pulled right in behind him."

Rivera says KM told SG don't do anything stupid. LR says KM was the only person SG called during the fatal trip to Tallahassee. The phones were turned off while in Tallahassee. Rivera says there were two guns with them on the second trip.

We're back from break. Luis Rivera is now testifying. This could go into the morning. He's the one who took a plea deal in exchange for information. So arguably the most important witness in this trial for the state. A witness the defense says lacks credibility.

Rivera was willing to be the shooter, but "it just worked out" that he didn't pull the trigger. He says KM gave Garcia a piece of paper with a picture of Dan Markel and an address for Markel's house. He says he never saw SG talk to anyone other than him and KM.

"Garcia jumped out, went around the car to the driver's side and shot him. No words exchanged." Rivera says he saw Markel try to put his hands up as Garcia shot twice. They sped away immediately without checking to see if Markel was killed.

"The day before, I was scoping the house and she was walking on the sidewalk with two kids a couple of houses down. She looked at the car and got on the phone right away to make a phone call." Garcia told Rivera that was Wendi Adelson.

He says Garcia accidentally shot through the floor of the Prius and ruined the gas line. They had to fix the car while in Tallahassee. A drug dealer they bought drugs from helped Garcia get the car fixed.

Rivera says he took a picture and posted it to Instagram. Garcia got a phone call from KM and told Rivera "Take that picture down, that's too much evidence." They wanted to avoid having proof of them in Tallahassee.

Rivera says the first time they get on the phone is at least an hour after the murder while they're headed home. Garcia calls Magbanua. "He shuts up when she talks." Rivera said, claiming he heard her. "It's done. She said I know. He said where's the money at?"

He says SG had $5,000 or so in his pocket for both trips. LR says the money came from "The Lady" and from KM. He said they had some left over after that trip.

Rivera says the money was stapled. "I've never seen money stapled. It was a lot of hundreds all stapled." He says there were thousand dollar stacks. SG got $40k, LR got $35k plus an extra $2k, KM got the rest according to LR. He says he and Garcia bought motorcycles.

The state finishes its questioning. A quick break before we move into cross-examination

Jada E. Williams
@JadaEWilliams
Cross-Examination of Luis Rivera happening now. Chris DeCoste asking about all the ways he was involved in the murder; buying the gun, the bullets, renting the car, driving the car, etc.

DeCoste is bringing up a federal charge Rivera accepted but said "You can't ever beat the feds, man. You can't ever go to trial against the feds." Hinting at Rivera lying just to avoid a trial.

Now they're discussing the Latin Kings. "I just want to know what this got to do with the case?"

Rivera says he was a top level member of the Latin Kings from 16 up until he was charged (roughly 15 years later). Keeping that title involves constantly committing and overseeing crimes. Rivera continues to ask what it has to do with *this* trial.

DeCoste is hinting that to avoid death penalty or life in jail, he cooperated with the feds. "You had to advance their theory to get time off."

"Everything I said was the truth."- Rivera's response to DeCoste alleging he agreed to whatever the government said to get out of life or the death penalty.

DeCoste asks about an earlier statement saying federal prison is better. "They're not better. But where I am right now is better. I wasn't safe before. They were trying to kill me." says he's never actually been in state prison but he hears federal prison is better.

"We talked about what you get. Now let's talk about what you had to give." goes on to talk about his conditions to testify truthfully. Goes into Rivera saying he saw Wendi Adelson at Markel's house.

DeCoste moves to Rivera's mental health. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia at about 10 years old. Rivera says he was self medicating with alcohol and cocaine and molly back in 2014. Says the prison isn't currently giving him any medications.

One of Rivera's earlier interviews with police is playing. DeCoste is focusing on Rivera's timeline when he found out the job was a murder. In that video, he says the conversation happened in the house before they ever rented a car. Today, he testified he found out on the road.


link: https://twitter.com/JadaEWilliams
 

Niner

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Friday, May 20th:
*Trial continues (Day 3) (@ 8:30am ET) - FL – Daniel Eric Markel (41) (shot to death July 18, 2014, Tallahassee) - *Katherine Magbanua (32/now 37) (Garcia's wife) arrested (Oct. 2016) & charged with 1st degree murder & 1 count conspiracy & 1 count solicitation of murder were brought together into one case on Tuesday (3/20/18). Plead not guilty. Held without bond.
Murder for Hire hit man. They split a $100K payoff for murder. KM has rejected several offers of immunity for her testimony.
First trial started on 9/23/19 & the jury started deliberations on 10/10-10/11/19 with a total of 11 hours of deliberations. They found Garcia guilty. A mistrial declared for Magbanua. (10-2 for guilty). Will remain in jail as a charged co-conspirator & the State will try her case again.
Re-Trial began on 5/16/22 with jury selection. 12 jurors & 2 alternates (7 women & 7 men). Trial began on 5/18/22. (should last 2-3 weeks).

Court info & trial from 9/23/19 thru 5/13/22 & Jury Selection Days 1-2 (5/16-5/17/22) & Trial Day 1 (5/18/22) reference post #362 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...hassee-18-july-2014-arrests-11.620240/page-19

5/18/22 Thursday, Trial Day 2: State witnesses: Marcia Rodriguez, worked for TPD during the crime. Wendi Adelson, ex-wife of Dan's.
for more info see post #372 & 373 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...hassee-18-july-2014-arrests-11.620240/page-19
State witnesses: Officer Bill Brannon. His job was to hold the scene, making sure no one other than law enforcement came into the crime scene. Jeffrey Lacasse. He was dating Wendi Adelson, but she broke up with him right before the murder.
for more info see post #374 & for Lacasse only on #375:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...hassee-18-july-2014-arrests-11.620240/page-19
State witness: Luis “Tato” Rivera.
for more info see post #407 here:
https://www.websleuths.com/forums/t...hassee-18-july-2014-arrests-11.620240/page-21
Trial continues on 5/20/22.

Accomplices:
*Charles Jay Adelson (45) – First appearance & bond hearing on 4/26/22. 4/26/22: Bond denied. Defense attorney asks for an Arthur hearing. No further info or dates yet as 5/15/22.
*Sigfredo Garcia (34) – 10/10/19: found guilty of 1st degree murder. Guilty of conspiracy. Not guilty of solicitation. Sentenced to LWOP for murder plus 30 years for conspiracy charge. 11/4/19: Motion to Withdraw as Counsel: Mauricio Padilla; Motion to Withdraw as Counsel: Saam Zangeneh.
*Luis Rivera (33) charged with 1st degree murder. Took a plea deal (Oct. 2016) & plead guilty to 2nd degree murder. Will testify against Garcia & Magbanua. Will receive 19-year sentence to run concurrently with his 12 year Federal time, which he is already serving.

POIs: Wendi Adelson (ex-wife of Markel), her mom Donna Sue Adelson (68) & father Harvey Adelson. Investigators have not charged any of these people in the Adelson family in connection with Markel’s death, except Charlie; but say Adelson’s mother & brother – Donna & Charlie Adelson – paid $100K to have Markel killed following the couple’s contentious divorce so their two young sons could move to South Florida.
 

KidonGadol

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If I understand this correctly, when Wendi pulled onto Trescott the morning of the murder, she got as far as actually being able to see the house. Unlike other motorists, she didn’t pause or chit chat with the officers to find out what was happening, but instead turned around quickly and got out of dodge. Anybody with small kids living at their exes house, seeing a police scene like that, would inquire or call the ex to be sure the kids were ok. Perhaps it went down before DM had the chance to get the kids to daycare. Absence of any info at such a scene would drive a caring parent into obsessive paranoia until the kids are found safe. She must have called the daycare to learn that DM deposited them safely at the scheduled time before viewing the police scene.
I've done a direct reply to you JBC on this but for the other confused.. if you look at the arrest warrant for Magbanua about page 8 there is a laundry list of phone call details and times (no content ) about 9 am DM rings Wendi to say the kids have been dropped off. (That's a guess by whoever put the time line together as to content but clearly LE would have checked the drop off time). So when Wendi turns around near the scene she knows there's only one casualty - her ex ,certainly NOT her children. It explains everything there. If Wendi ever went to trial if they could PROVE it was her car (why the heck they were not taking plate numbers beats me ) the jury would cruel her if they knew the background.
 

KidonGadol

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Snipped - Anyone else getting major Elizabeth Holmes/Theranos vibes from Wendi as she does her "innocent victim" act on the stand? I'm blown away by her flat out lies, and confused by the breadth of immunity. Can she just lie about everything?
"Can she just lie about everything? "
If Wendi clearly perjures herself she can be prosecuted for that . She can't be prosecuted under a Use immunity for the crime under investigation if she incriminates herself in answering questions from either counsel.
She can be prosecuted on the basis of those same details if they may be discovered by another independent route.

VisLaw, if he /she reads this may be able to give cases where prosecution for perjury has happened while a witness was indemnified but think they'd be rare.
 

vislaw

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"Can she just lie about everything? "
If Wendi clearly perjures herself she can be prosecuted for that . She can't be prosecuted under a Use immunity for the crime under investigation if she incriminates herself in answering questions from either counsel.
She can be prosecuted on the basis of those same details if they may be discovered by another independent route.

VisLaw, if he /she reads this may be able to give cases where prosecution for perjury has happened while a witness was indemnified but think they'd be rare.
You are correct that such prosecutions for perjury are rare, but they have occurred. Obviously, perjury is the least of Wendi's concerns right now and it is difficult to imagine any of her responses leading to a perjury prosecution here simply because it would be so difficult to prove so far. That would all change, of course, if firm evidence in the form of emails, texts, or credible witness testimony against her comes to light. I think it would be safe to say that, at this point, even if such evidence exists, the prosecution would save it to impeach her in a conspiracy case yet to be filed.
 

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Booyah! The judge finds that in murder for hire cases the conspiracy continues until the money is paid. Thus, the defense hearsay argument is overruled and the conversation between Magbanua and Garcia overheard by Rivera will come in.
 

Blue Shakehead

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Just getting started and BOOM - right out of the gate, the Defense is objecting to new discovery evidence submitted by the State which is recorded phone calls from jail of Katie Magbanua and someone else.

Kawass is pretty upset about this and admonishes prosecution for the timing, given that trial is already underway and opening statements have already been given (i..e, the Defense has already committed to its narrative).

Cappleman says she has not even had time to personally review them, that the calls happened after jury selection. Cappleman will review them this weekend.

Kawass says some calls are prior to jury selection. She then says that some of the calls are in Spanish and she doesn't speak Spanish. Judge said basically the Defense will need to hire a translator then, as its not his problem. Judge will review once everyone has had a chance to review the new evidence.

This could potentially be huge. I wonder what Katie said? She's been extremely careful since 2016 so I would be pleasantly surprised if she fumbled the ball here on the goal-line on the eve of her re-trial.
 

Blue Shakehead

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Can someone explain to me this whole "third trip" debate?

My recollection, and this is only from the first trial, was that there was perhaps cell phone evidence that Garcia and someone else (another Latin King named King Anthony) drove up to Tally one other time. So there may have been 3 total trips (2 unsuccessful) and Rivera was only directly involved in 2 of those trips.

Defense is trying to show that Rivera is lying about his knowledge of this other trip and won''t provide evidence against another Latin King. Thats my recollection and admittedly, my memory isnt the greatest.
 

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for Friday, May 20th - Day 3

Jada E. Williams
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Luis Rivera will resume cross-examination in moments. We’ll also hear about cell towers and how they created a web in this trial today. I’m not in the courtroom today (currently reorganizing furniture ), so my tweets may be a little limited.

The state introduced amended discovery. It includes jailhouse calls the state says we’re made this week. Defense says Magbanua’s calls were made before this week. Apparently the calls are in Spanish. This will be weekend work for all sides before a ruling in a Richardson hearing.

“I don’t sit down in my cell and think about this right here. It’s been 8 years, we forget stuff.” Luis Rivera speaking to varying testimony of how many guns he and Sigfredo Garcia brought on the trip to Tallahassee.

“There’s so many bridges, sir. I’m not going to remember the bridge.” Rivera is now shown his drawing of the bridge they threw the gun off of.

Now DeCoste is getting to the bottom of who actually pulled the trigger. He says Rivera saw things that the getaway driver wouldn’t normally see. Like Markel on the phone, window up, and putting his hands up defensively.

DeCoste: “Would you be surprised to hear we have no records of a call between magbanua and Garcia on that day before noon?” Rivera: “Are you aware they had throwaway phones?”

Rivera is fiery. “I told you that over and over. Don’t ask me that question no more.”

Was there a third trip? Who went? Defense says that’s what Rivera said in a deposition. Calling it a slip up. Rivera maintains there were only two trips. “I don’t remember that third trip.” DeCoste says if the state finds out about a third trip, his plea agreement is violated

Rivera says there was a third trip, but he wasn’t involved. Sigfredo Garcia and King Anthony. DeCoste asking why he said we and only mentioned it once in roughly 10 testimonies.

We’re getting to the defenses theory. Rivera says he was with Garcia when they watched Katherine and Charlie have dinner. DeCoste is now asking Rivera if Garcia ever confronted Adelson. Rivera says Magbanua is Garcia’s weakness. “Whatever she says do, he jumps to do it.”



link: https://twitter.com/JadaEWilliams
 

KidonGadol

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My recollection, and this is only from the first trial, was that there was perhaps cell phone evidence that Garcia and someone else (another Latin King named King Anthony) drove up to Tally one other time. So there may have been 3 total trips (2 unsuccessful) and Rivera was only directly involved in 2 of those trips.

Defense is trying to show that Rivera is lying about his knowledge of this other trip and won''t provide evidence against another Latin King. Thats my recollection and admittedly, my memory isnt the greatest.
Your memory is quite accurate.
Nobody has proved or disproved this trip in the first trial anyway and I 'm wondering how the defense even got wind of it.
Anthony supposedly died of a heart attack. Anyway he's definitely dead. Only SG can speak about this trip and would he tell the truth ?
I could see Rivera getting cold feet after finding out the purpose of the first trip and then getting a fully documented police stop for speeding on the way up. He might have seen that as some sort of divine warning. (?)
 
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