In recent video footage, a 73-year-old grandmother, Donna Adelson, was apprehended in Miami, Florida, in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot targeting her former son-in-law. The body camera video, dated November, captures the moment police took Donna into custody at Miami International Airport, where she and her husband were attempting to board a one-way flight to Vietnam. The footage shows Donna being escorted through the airport and into a patrol car, with her exclaiming, "I didn't know there was a warrant."
Donna faces charges of first-degree murder and solicitation of murder. The accusations suggest her involvement in a conspiracy with her son and others to orchestrate the killing of her former son-in-law, Daniel Markel, a law professor at Florida State University. The incident allegedly took place in 2014 when Markel was embroiled in a court battle with his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson—Donna Adelson's daughter. Wendi aimed to relocate with her two sons to South Florida to be closer to her mother and other family members, according to reports from ABC 7.
When Markel rejected the proposed arrangement, prosecutors claim that the Adelson family sought to eliminate him from the equation. Prosecutor Georgia Cappleman stated, "Who did it appear to have a motive to want Dan Markel dead? His own family." Donna is accused of playing a pivotal role in the alleged scheme. Her son, Charlie, has already been convicted of first-degree murder and is serving a mandatory life sentence.
In a jail call with Charlie about a week before the attempted escape, Donna mentioned the possibility of extradition from Vietnam, stating, "If there is extradition from Vietnam, because we've looked at all the places, I mean, I could go to Korea and China, but there's no extradition." Prosecutors argue that Donna's attempt to flee the country could be used as evidence against her in court.
Despite the charges, Donna's attorney, speaking to ABC News, asserts her innocence and expresses anticipation in proving it at trial. Donna is scheduled to appear in court on Monday to address the serious allegations against her.