LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. – The trial for a Colorado man accused of murder in the death of his 13-year-old son was moved to April on Tuesday after a mistrial was declared due to the high number of infections of the novel coronavirus in La Plata County.
Tuesday’s mistrial is the second for Mark Redwine, who is charged with second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in the 2012 death of his 13-year-old son, Dylan Redwine. Back in November, a 6th Judicial District judge declared a mistrial after Redwine’s public defenders were experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and had to quarantine.
Redwine’s trial was expected to begin on Jan. 25 but in a court order filed Tuesday, Judge Jeffrey Wilson determined “that in order to protect the health and safety of the public, as well as litigants and staff of the Sixth Judicial District, that the suspension of jury trials in the Sixth Judicial District would be extended for an indefinite period of time,” until the rates of COVID-19 infection throughout the county could be decreased to levels where jury trials would be safe to resume.
Judge Wilson stated that even though the state has reduced La Plata County’s risk level on the COVID-19 dial, the reduction risk is not based on the incidence of new infections, adding that based solely on the current incidence rate of new infections, the county continues to qualify as severe risk.
Wilson also cited reports that travel during the holidays is expected to significantly increase the amount of COVID-19 infections over the next several weeks as reasoning for the mistrial.
“The Court therefore finds that … a jury pool cannot be safely assembled due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Wilson wrote.
Redwine’s trial is now scheduled for April 12, 2021 at 8 a.m.
Dylan Redwine, 13, was on a court-ordered visit to see his father, Mark Redwine, around Thanksgiving Day 2012. The teenager was last seen alive on Nov. 18, 2012.
The partial remains of Dylan Redwine were found 10 miles from his father's home north of Vallecito Lake in La Plata County in June 2013, according to an indictment. His skull was located more than two years later, on Nov. 1, 2015, about a mile and a half from the previously located remains.
Anthropologists who studied the skull determined the injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma in two locations, according to an indictment. The skull also had two small markings consistent with tool marks from a knife, the indictment shows.
Redwine, then 55 years old, was arrested in July 2017 in Washington on a fugitive warrant with the underlying charges of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death and was later extradited back to Colorado, where he has been awaiting trial for more than three years.
To date, Mark Redwine has denied his involvement in his son's disappearance and death.