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Police quiet on slaying of law professor in US

July 24, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) — Detectives in the U.S. say Canadian Daniel Markel was shot in the head, but won’t say whether he was shot from the front or back. They say he was gunned down at his home in broad daylight, but won’t say if he was found inside the house or outside.

Last Friday’s shooting of the Florida State University law school professor has stunned friends and colleagues, who demanded to know whether Markel had surprised an armed burglar or robber.

No, Police Chief Michael DeLeo said, this was premeditated murder.

Markel, 41, was born in Toronto and joined the Florida State law school as a faculty member in 2005.

Bob Jarvis, a Nova Southeastern University law professor, said there are numerous reasons police withhold crime details from the public. Police are always concerned with false confessions and copycat criminals, he said.

“It’s a way to test anybody who’s either making a confession, who’s trying to pin the blame on somebody else,” Jarvis said. “It’s a truth-telling test.

Markel finalized a contentious divorce from his ex-wife, Wendi Adelson, in 2013. The two had equally split custody of sons Benjamin and Lincoln, but they had follow-up litigation over money settlements.

“She’s totally, totally shocked over what happened,” said Adelson’s lawyer, Jimmy Judkins.

“She’s scared to death for her children. She’s scared to death for herself.”

Judkins said Adelson has cooperated with police and has not been asked remain in the area.

Markel’s death has been an ongoing topic in the law community — where he was well-known among other scholars for his writings in blogs and scholarly publications, several focused on crime and punishment.

“He loved people as much as he loved ideas,” said David Wilkins, a Harvard Law School professor who has remained in contact with Markel over the years. “He loved talking about ideas to people. I think that’s what drew a lot of people to him.”

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