Tragedy and Violence After Divorce
Given time, most divorces do end up settled and both parties move on. For a few cases, however, spouses are unable to move on and violent incidents happen. Sometimes these lead to tragic results.
Tricia Todd was reported missing on April 26, 2016. The last sighting of the Florida mother was at a grocery store near her Hobe Sound home. A month later, a man came to the police station and confessed to the crime. Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said that Todd’s ex-husband pleaded no-contest to second-degree murder on May 26. The following day, police found what they believe to be Tricia Todd’s remains.
Steven Williams, the ex-husband, stated he murdered Todd after an argument over finances. He said he buried his ex-wife in a shallow grave in a remote part of Hobe Sound’s Hungryland State Preserve. Accompanied by his public defender, Williams led authorities to the grave site.
While Snyder still considers the method and motive for the murder to be a mystery, Williams confessed to pushing his ex-wife during the argument. Williams said that his wife hit her head. Authorities believe that Williams used a chainsaw to dismember Todd’s body before disposing of it.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Williams will spend 35 years in a Florida State Prison. Authorities accepted the plea deal in order to bring closure for Todd’s family.
Williams may face additional federal charges in connection with the crime. At the time of the murder, Williams was an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force.
In a similar yet unrelated case, the execution-style murder of a beloved Florida law professor has been tied to members of his ex-wife’s family.
Legal scholar Dan Markel was murdered in July 2014 following a divorce from his ex-wife and a bitter custody dispute over the couple’s children. Wendi Adelson’s family has been implicated in a murder-for-hire plot against Adelson’s ex-husband.
An arrest affidavit points to Adelson’s brother Charlie Adelson, and mother, Donna Adelson, as being involved in the plot to murder Markel. The arrest affidavit is for 34-year-old Sigfredo Garcia, who has been implicated in the murder of the law professor. Inside that affidavit, under the title “Motive for Murder” is information tying the family to the killing.
Investigators uncovered emails from Wendi Adelson’s parents, particularly her mother, who wanted Adelson to “coerce” her ex-husband into allowing their two children to move. Further documentation revealed that Charles Adelson and the victim did not get along.
Authorities are not elaborating on whether any of the Adelsons are under surveillance or whether they have been interviewed. Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo stopped short of formally declaring members of the Adelson family as suspects. He did, however, state that he expects more arrests to be made.
If you ever feel like you’re being harassed or threatened during or after your divorce, you should speak with the authorities. If necessary, get a restraining order. Sometimes people do unexpected things after a divorce and you know how to protect yourself in case such things happen. A bit of prudence can save your life. For more information about how to protect yourself after a divorce, contact our law offices.