DA Will Not Charge FSU Law Prof’s In-Laws with Murder

In a previous post, we updated you on the murder case involving Florida State University law professor Dan Markel. In July 2014, Markel was murdered execution-style while sitting in his car at his Tallahassee home. Two men have been charged with Markel’s murder: 34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia and 33-year-old Luis Rivera. They will stand trial in November.

In our last post, we told you that authorities were trying to determine whether the murder had anything to do with Markel’s bitter divorce from his wife Wendi Adelson, and her family’s insistence that Wendi take the children and move to South Florida. Based on some evidence, Tallahassee police suspected that Wendi’s family (specifically her mother and brother) may have hired Garcia and Rivera to kill Markel.

However, the ties police made were just too loose for the District Attorney, who said there was not enough probable cause to arrest Wendi’s mother or brother. Click here to read about the evidence in the probable cause affidavits. While the DA’s office admitted that they too suspected a connection between Wendi’s family and the two defendants, they simply didn’t feel the evidence presented would be enough to support an arrest, let alone a conviction. There was too much speculation.

At this juncture, the DA is going to move forward with the prosecution of Garcia and Rivera. The defendants could face the death penalty if convicted. We will keep you informed as the trial unfolds.

This tragedy reminds us how emotionally involved and even irrational people can become when a family goes through a divorce. Thankfully the level of rage and revenge that prompts people to commit murder isn’t the norm, but when intense emotions are involved, anything can happen.

Here are 3 tips for maintaining mental health during your divorce:

1. When you are going through a divorce, it is extremely important to tend to the emotional health and well-being of everyone involved.

That includes yourself, your kids, your parents or siblings, etc. A good place to start is by hiring a very competent, qualified, experienced divorce attorney. They will be comfortable dealing with the emotions of your case and will maintain a calm composure. They will let you air your concerns, make sure you feel heard and understood, and will communicate with you regularly so you feel a part of the process. Most of all, an experienced divorce lawyer will take all the work off your plate so you can focus on your family’s well-being.

2. Set boundaries with your family members and close friends. 

They love you and will want to protect you and defend you. Sometimes people get so emotionally involved, it is as though your situation is happening to them. Your loved ones do not need to know every detail of your case. In some cases, the most loving thing you can do for them will be to shield them from too much information. (Not to mention the potential implications on your attorney-client privilege.)

3. Seek out the advice of a professional if needed.

As much as your divorce lawyer wants to help you, remember that he or she is not your therapist. Use your time with your lawyer wisely, to focus on legal matters, and only share information that might be helpful to your case. Allow your lawyer to guide your meetings and phone discussions, and he/she will prompt you for the pertinent information.

It may be important for you to talk to someone about your feelings, however. And since you are limiting the amount of information you share with your loved ones who cannot remain unbiased, seek the help of a counselor, therapist, or support group to fill that need.

DA Will Not Charge FSU Law Prof’s In-Laws with Murder | Jupiter Divorce