Latest on Charlie Adelson trial: Defense weaves a tangled web trying to navigate past a pile of evidence
Charlie Adelson. Image via WCTV.

adelson wctv
Jurors hear a defense story that is so beyond absurd there's really no word that captures its irrationality.

I sat down to write a serious recap of what’s happened since Charlie Adelson’s trial for the murder of Dan Markel began on Oct. 23. But one can’t write seriously about a defense story that on its face is so beyond absurd that Shift+F7 on the word “absurd” even fails to produce a synonym that captures its irrationality.

So instead, I’ll provide readers a plain language recap of how Charlie has tried to talk his way out of mountains of evidence that places him, his mother Donna Adelson, and his sister, Wendi Adelson, at the center of an alleged 7-person conspiracy to kill his brother-in-law.

First, a few things everyone can agree on: Wendi and Donna were devastated that the court wouldn’t let Wendi relocate to South Florida with their sons, away form Markel. Wendi complained constantly about living in Tallahassee, so the family came up with a few (mostly abhorrent) ideas for how they could make it happen. One of these ideas was giving Markel $1 million, split three equal ways, between Charlie, Wendi, and their parents.

Here’s where Charlie’s story begins to diverge from reality. He says he “talked too freely” in front of his then-“girlfriend” (in quotation marks because they were never exclusive, and she kept up her relationship with the father of her two children, gangster Sigfredo Garcia) — both about the family’s hatred of Markel and the $333,000 he would have given Wendi to help pay Markel off. From there, he says, Katie and Garcia cooked the idea, behind Charlie’s back, to drive (twice!) to Tallahassee to kill Markel, and then extort Charlie for the $333k.

In Charlie’s story, he coughed up $138,000 in stapled cash (also moldy, per Katie, because someone had literally washed it), the night of the murder, and then got the Latin Kings to agree to have him pay off the remaining balance in $3,000/month increments. If he didn’t pay up, he said, gang members would kill him or a member of his family.

Despite having an extremely litigious history in which he willingly went to law enforcement, and despite having deep legal and political connections through a local judge and former state senator as his sister’s godfather, Charlie kept his mouth shut — up until testifying publicly last week.  He didn’t talk to the FBI when they approached him, didn’t talk after the FBI bumped his mother, didn’t talk after Katie and the two gang members got arrested and convicted, didn’t talk even as his baby sister was named as a co-conspirator in the murder, and didn’t even talk after his own arrest.

The jurors of Leon County are surely smart and intuitive enough to see through this. Stay tuned Monday for how quickly they do …

Karen Cyphers

Karen Cyphers, Ph.D., is a partner and vice president of research at Sachs Media Group. She can be reached at [email protected].


  • Charlie is Guilty!

    November 5, 2023 at 11:10 am

    You just wrote the perfect closing statement for Monday!! Well done!!

    • Donna eads

      November 6, 2023 at 9:17 am

      Ok! Charlie is telling the court “ Oh no, see yah got it all wrong, see I was extorted.” Same as every other defendant.Remember they all been framed. Nobody ever did it.

      • Donna eads

        November 6, 2023 at 9:19 am

        Just hope the jurors are insulted that he would think they are that stupid.

  • John S Clopton

    November 5, 2023 at 10:59 pm

    one slight typo at “we can all agree … form vs from – but excellent commentary – lets hope 12 jurors can see clearly through the BS and hopefully that will energize Georgia Cappleman to indict Momma and Wendi

  • Renee

    November 6, 2023 at 6:10 am

    Georgia will pull it all together during closing.. the story confuses Jorge’s then they think they have reasonable doubt.. he had his chances to come forward but didn’t because he was the mastermind of murder!!

    • Renee

      November 6, 2023 at 6:11 am

      Jurors **

  • Not So Fast

    November 6, 2023 at 8:14 am

    The standard is beyond a reasonable doubt, not more likely than not. The defendant’s story about preemptive extortion has occurred to others, such as, oh, Alfred Hitchcock……. who directed Strangers on a Train.
    www [dot] youtube [dot] com/watch?v=PC62NBWBkjM

  • John Hengy

    November 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    Poor Charlie: better start learning how to toss a prison salad. Because you are done. GUILTY GUILTY!! Along with your sister and parents. You’ll all wish that they state prison system servers Kosher

  • Rod M

    November 6, 2023 at 12:03 pm


Comments are closed.


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