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Prominent law professor dies of gunshot wound

Dan Markel, found mortally wounded in his Florida home, was a founder of PrawfsBlawg who wrote legal commentary for major newspapers.
By Frances Burns   |   July 21, 2014 at 11:30 AM   |   Comments

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., July 21 (UPI) -- A Florida State University law professor with a national reputation as a legal blogger died a day after he was found with a gunshot wound in his Tallahassee home.

Tallahassee police said Dan Markel's death is being investigated as a homicide. But they have released little information about the investigation.

Markel was discovered in his home in a quiet upscale neighborhood Friday, after a neighbor reported hearing a "loud bang." The 41-year-old died early Saturday.

Reggie Garcia, a neighbor and lawyer who talked to Markel's students about clemency and parole, said people who live in the Betton Hills neighborhood were concerned because they have been given so few details about what happened.

"The rumors are all over the map and the whole neighborhood is frustrated," Garcia told the Tallahassee Democrat. "There's just radio silence from law enforcement, which could be strategic or it could be they don't know anything."

Garcia said burglaries have been frequent in the neighborhood: "There's a question of public safety first. Is there still a threat out there? To go from burglaries to an apparent murder in the middle of a Friday, that's a big jump, in supposedly a good neighborhood."

Markel was a co-founder of PrawfsBlawg and wrote articles for the Guardian, Slate, the New York Times and other publications.

"Indeed, Dan Markel knew more legal academics -- by which I mean he had more meaningful conversations and was actually friends with more people -- than anyone in the country," Dave Hoffman of Concurring Opinions wrote. "Everyone knew him or had a story about him. Even in conversations he wasn't a part of, at conferences he'd never attended, he was a common point of reference."

Markel was in the middle of a divorce from Wendi Adelson, who also teaches law at FSU and is the director of the school's Medical-Legal Partnership. The couple have two young children.

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