(As originally published with additional photos, Wed, November 15th 2023, 4:56 PM EST)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (TND) — The mother of a newly-convicted murderer is also behind bars after she made a recorded call to her son in jail.
Donna Sue Adelson, 73, was arrested at Miami International Airport, Monday night.
Her indictment by a grand jury issued Wednesday said she’s charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
According to her arrest report, she was one of three people who arranged the 2014 murder-for-hire of Dan Markel, who was married to her daughter, Wendi Adelson.
Donna Adelson’s dentist son, Dr. Charles Adelson, was convicted last Monday, Nov. 6, for his role in arranging the murder.
Her arrest affidavit said she had a lot to tell her son who’s in jail awaiting sentencing.
“Jail calls from after Charles Adelson’s guilty verdict include multiple calls in which Donna Sue Adelson is telling Charles Adelson that she is getting things in order, creating trusts, and making sure her grandchildren are taken care of,“ it said. “Donna discusses plans for a suicide, but also discusses plans to flee to a non-extradition country.“
That country was Vietnam.
“Donna Sue Adelson has considerable financial resources to accomplish this,” the affidavit continued. “On Nov. 7, 2023, Donna and Harvey Adelson booked flights to Vietnam with a stop in Dubai.“
They were set to depart Miami just days ago, on Monday, Nov. 13, at 8:10 p.m. They almost caught the flight.
Their former son-in-law Markel, a Florida State University professor, was shot in his head while in his car, outside his Tallahassee home, on July 18, 2014. It followed a bitter custody battle with the dentist’s sister.
Her mother’s arrest affidavit said Wendi Adelson spoke to Tallahassee police and
“made statements suggesting the murder of Markel could have been arranged by someone on her behalf, without her knowledge.“
Markel and Wendi Adelson shared custody of their two children. She wanted to leave Tallahassee for southern Florida to be closer to her family but a judge had ruled she needed Markel’s consent and he refused.
According to the affidavit, “Donna Adelson repeatedly tried to convince Wendi to coerce Markel into allowing the relocation to South Florida. Donna suggested the family offer Markel $1 million to allow the relocation.
“Donna also suggested that Wendi threaten to convert Markel’s children to Catholicism, knowing Markel was very observant in his Jewish faith.“
Prosecutors said Charles Adelson paid to have Markel killed.
The 47-year-old was convicted of all charges: first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and solicitation of first-degree murder. He’s scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Donna Adelson will be extradited to Tallahassee.