The trial of a Florida woman who killed her stepfather-turned husband and then waited 11 hours to report his death began on Thursday.
Danielle Redlick, 48, stands accused of murder in the second degree and tampering with physical evidence over the Jan. 11, 2019, stabbing death of 65-year-old Michael Redlick, a former executive for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies.
In the state’s opening statement, the prosecution reiterated a claim long made by investigators in the case: that the defendant browsed a dating website several hours after her husband was dead.
“In December, Ms. Redlick, the defendant, makes a fateful decision,” Assistant State Attorney Sean Wiggins told Orange County jurors. “She joins a dating site called MeetMindful.com.”
The prosecutor continued:
She put herself down in December, December 5th of 2018, that she was looking for a long-term relationship. This is the dating website that that defendant opens while her husband is laid out, dead, on the floor. It will be clear from Ms. Redlick’s own statements that you hear, in various recordings, her activity on that dating website, that Mrs. Redlick never wanted to make this relationship work; that she was done, despite the fact that she didn’t go through with the divorce, that she was not interested in a life with Mr. Redlick.
Danielle Redlick is offering an affirmative defense in the case–admitting to the underlying fact of the slaying but arguing that she only killed the man in self-defense.
“Yes, Danielle Redlick did stab Michael Redlick,” Assistant Public Defender Catherine Conlon told the jury.
But that stabbing was the culmination of a long period of domestic abuse, the defense argued. Michael Redlick had once punched his former stepdaughter in the face, the defense said, and had grown increasingly aggressive as time went on and their relationship deteriorated. Violence on the night in question, Conlon said, rose to a whole other level–necessitating a response by her client.
“It’s worse than any of those other incidents,” the defense attorney argued, “It’s different. He pushes her down. She goes to her knees. He pulls her up by the hair. He shoves her to the kitchen island. He chokes. He smothers her. She reaches into a drawer; she grabs a knife; she stabs him one time; he is stunned; he releases her; and she runs to the bathroom.”
Law enforcement doubts that story due to the defendant’s alleged actions in the hours after the stabbing occurred.
In addition to allegedly checking her messages on the dating app, Danielle Redlick allegedly attempted to clean up the crime scene, and offered a conflicting story when she finally dialed 911.
That next morning, the defendant told the dispatcher that she thought her husband had died from a heart attack. She later told police that her husband had stabbed himself during an argument. To account for the long lag in between the stabbing and the 911 call, Danielle Redlick allegedly said she had trouble finding her phone. But, the state claims, the dating app activity occurred two hours before that 911 call.
Conlon, during the defense’s opening statement, said her client’s “whole world changed” after she finally left the bathroom the next morning. She appeared to account for those alleged incongruities by saying that Danielle Redlick reacted in “confusion, in despair, and trauma” after realizing her husband was dead.
Watch the ongoing courtroom showdown here on the Law&Crime Network.
[image via Law&Crime Network]
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