Dan Markel was a law professor who was shot and killed in his driveway on July 19, 2014, in Tallahassee, Florida. Investigators believe his ex-wife Wendi Adelson’s family is connected to those found guilty of his murder and that Markel was killed by murder for hire because of his divorce from Adelson and their custody battle.
Where is Adelson today? Was she charged in Markel’s death?
Although she was brought in for questioning, Adelson was never charged in connection with her ex-husband’s murder. Her brother and mother have been named as “unindicted conspirators.” Three individuals have been prosecuted: Luis Rivera, Sigfredo Garcia and Katherine Magbanua, who was dating Adelson’s brother at the time.
Arresting documents show that investigators believed “motive for this murder stemmed from the desperate desire of the Adelson family to relocate Wendi and the children to South Florida, along with the pending court hearing that might have impacted their access to the grandchildren.”
Adelson Now Works as an Immigration Lawyer With The Immigration Partnership and Coalition Fund
Just days after Markel’s death, Adelson moved with their kids to South Florida, Forward wrote, and she has since changed their last name from Markel to Adelson. Tamba Bay Times reported that she has also prevented Markel’s parents, her children’s paternal grandparents, from visiting or calling the children, prompting a new bill to be filed in the Florida legislature to modify visitation laws.
In July 2020, Markel’s friends and family launched a petition calling on the state attorney to charge Adelson’s brother and mother, who were both named as conspirators in court documents. Adelson has repeatedly maintained her innocence, as the New York Times reported.
Today, Adelson works as an immigration lawyer for The Immigration Partnership and Coalition Fund (IMPAC), a position she’s held since 2017, according to her LinkedIn page, which is no longer active. Mike Fernandez, a billionaire and the founder and CEO of IMPAC, issued a statement supporting Adelson in 2018. He told POLITICO:
[Adelson] appropriately disclosed the terrible circumstances to us prior to her appointment as our Executive Director, and we made inquiries that confirmed her lack of involvement. We express our support of her as she navigates the impacts of this loss and media interest in the case. She continues to be a dedicated mother and leader of the IMPAC Fund despite these challenges.
As her Florida Bar profile indicates, Adelson graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 2006 and was admitted to the bar that year. Her current firm is also listed as Wendi J Adelson, PA, with one member. She also has a profile on Medium, where she published an article in 2019 fact-checking claims about immigration into the U.S.
She Has Spoken Publicly About Her Ex-Husband’s Death, Penning an Article in 2015
Adelson penned an article for a writing class she took in 2015 and then recited the piece on a podcast the following year. In the article, she wrote, as transcribed by Above the Law:
I’m not really okay. I list the things that are going well when people ask this question. My children are thriving and happy. We live with my parents, who are incredibly devoted to our well-being. I started my own immigration practice, and I just signed up to do a one-year clerkship with the federal Eleventh Circuit in September, which means I can get off Obamacare and have one year guaranteed of a steady income.
As PEOPLE reported, when Adelson was asked why she decided to write that piece and share her thoughts, she said, “I think for me, a lot of the additional pain I felt, on top of the murder and everything associated with it, was it felt unfair that I couldn’t at least tell my own story, that the story got told for me. So I think there was an aspect of empowerment, of being able to say, no, this is my side of the story. This is what things looked like from my perspective.”
The writing course and the associated podcast, Writing Class Radio, are co-sponsored by the University of Miami School of Communications. Adelson’s photo and bio are available on the Writing Class Radio website.