Markel Trial Day 7 preview: ‘They’re admissible.’
Image via WCTV.

Major motion by Judge Wheeler: 'They’re admissible.'

Judge Robert Wheeler delivered a major opinion prior to the jury entering the room Tuesday morning.

He will allow the jury to hear audio of three phone calls captured on wiretap between Donna Adelson and Charlie Adelson immediately after the bump.

This is huge.

Wheeler explained that the State is not trying to prove what was said between the mother and son, but rather what was not said — which was the name of the defendant. Wheeler clarified that the purpose of allowing the jury to hear these recordings is to establish “the fact that Katherine Magbanua was not mentioned in the calls.”

DeCoste argued vehemently to exclude these. And as Magbanua’s lawyer, he should. These recordings prove a major aspect of the State’s case — that when confronted by a stranger about Dan Markel’s murder, Donna and Charlie knew exactly who to call — their middleman, Magbanua. DeCoste argued with Wheeler even past the judge’s ruling on the matter, to no avail.

“They’re admissible,” Wheeler schooled DeCoste, “and I’ve already made myself clear a number of times.”

Wheeler will also permit the jury to hear Charlie speaking with Erika Johnson regarding Magbanua’s Adelson Institute employment records, or rather, the lack thereof.


Florida Politics is providing daily coverage of Katherine Magbanua’s retrial for the 2014 murder-for-hire of FSU law professor Dan Markel. The case has drawn international media attention to Florida’s capital city, and we’ll share with readers the top things to watch for and discuss as proceedings unfold. Our reporting will draw from many sources, including contributor Karen Cyphers of Sachs Media, who with attorney Jason Solomon advocate with the grassroots group, Justice for Dan, to draw attention to this case and provide analysis of relevance to Florida’s political, advocacy, and legal communities.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


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