By Katie McLaughlin
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (Court TV) — Defendant Danielle Redlick has been found not guilty of second-degree murder. She was, however, found guilty of tampering with evidence. Sentencing is set for August 5.
- WATCH: Kitchen Knife Murder Trial: Watch the Verdict
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (Court TV) — Danielle Redlick is charged in the stabbing death of her estranged husband, former NBA executive Michael Redlick.
65-year-old Michael “Red” Redlick was found fatally stabbed in his Winter Park, Florida home in January 2019. His estranged wife and former stepdaughter, Danielle, waited 11 hours before calling 911 to seek medical attention. Danielle initially told the 911 operator that her husband had a heart attack.
DAILY TRIAL HIGHLIGHTS
DAY 6 – 6/16/22
- During the state’s closing arguments, they continued to tell jurors that Redlick had the choice to call 911 after finding her husband lying unresponsive on their living room floor. She waited 11 hours to make the call, only after she needed help after an attempted suicide
- Wiggins stressed that Redlick made no attempts to help her husband and continued to “lie” when she had multiple times to tell the truth
- “Danielle told you from her own mouth that Michael could be saved. Redlick believed Michael was not dead,” Wiggins said. “If that’s true, then she let him die.”
- Wiggins said Danielle had “evil intent” when she killed her husband and wanted a life without him
- Before their deliberations, jurors heard two jailhouse calls between Redlick and her sister, Melanie
- Prosecutors say that Danielle would use another inmate’s pin number to make those calls so she could talk freely about her case, wanting to see her kids, and regretting not finalizing the divorce from Michael
- Her sister tried to convince her not to go to trial, but she continued not to tell anyone that she stabbed Michael and that she stabbed him in self-defense
- Andrew Parnell, for the defense, maintains that Michael Redlick attacked Danielle in their kitchen the night of the stabbing. She reached for a kitchen knife and then stabbed him. Redlick claims she did not think the stabbing was “fatal”
- Parnell took the jury back to the beginning of Michael and Danielle’s relationship. He said that Michael was once married to Danielle’s mother, and after she died, he pursued a relationship with Danielle
- “Their relationship went from parent to partner, but not really. They are not partners, and it was about control,” Parnell said
- He continued by saying Michael’s job insecurities, and their relationship turned him into an abusive person, reaching a boiling point in January 2019
- The jury deliberated just over two hours Thursday before going home for the evening without a verdict. They will return Friday at 9:00 a.m. to continue their deliberations
- Four men and two women began deliberating Thursday on the case against Danielle Redlick. The jury has to decide whether Redlick is guilty of second-degree murder, the lesser charge of manslaughter, or not guilty of the death of her husband, Michael Redlick
- If convicted of second-degree murder, Redlick faces up to life in prison
- WATCH: Kitchen Knife Murder Trial Day 6: Jury Begins Deliberating
DAY 5 – 6/15/22
- Defense Witness #1 – Danielle Justine Redlick, Defendant
- Admitted that she never told anyone that she stabbed Michael Redlick
- She did not tell the investigators the truth about what happened that night
- Started cleaning after finding Michael’s body in the living room
- Mopped and cleaned around Michael’s body
- Defense Witness #2 – Dr. Sara Zydowicz, Assistant Medical Examiner
- Questioned whether Michael Redlick had high levels of alcohol or testosterone in his system
- Defense Witness #3 – Jennifer Brown, Friend of Danielle Redlick
- Witnessed Danielle Redlick’s black eye
- Did not see Michael hit Danielle
- Defense Witness #4 – Gregory Miller, ABC Liquor Store, Head of Security
- Admitted into evidence – surveillance video of Michael at the store
- Defense Witness #5 – Detective Pamela Woehr, Winter Park Police Department
- Attended Autopsy for Michael Redlick
- Identified Michael Redlick purchasing alcohol at an ABC Liquor Store in Winter Park, FL
- Defense Witness #6 – Dr. Frederick Azar, Orthopedic Surgeon – Former Memphis Grizzlies Physician
- Treated both Danielle and Michael for injuries during a domestic dispute
- He did not refer Danielle to a dentist for treatment
- He did consult with a plastic surgeon regarding Danielle’s injuries
- There are no medical records regarding the incident
- Defense Witness #7 – Ted Utsey, Redlick’s Handyman
- Michael Redlick hired Utsey for various odd jobs around the Redlick home in 2018
- Fixed the front door of the home twice
- Replaced door knobs and locks in the home
- Proffer Witness – Melanie Tenaglia, Redlick’s Sister
- Heard Danielle and Michael arguing in their home in Memphis
- Did not witness Michael hit Danielle
- Incident happened in the early 2000s
- WATCH: Kitchen Knife Murder Trial: Day 5
- WATCH: Expert Analyzes Danielle Redlick’s Body Language
- WATCH: Analyzing Danielle Redlick’s Body Language on Cross-Examination
DAY 4 – 6/14/22
- State Witness #22 – Dr. Sara Zydowicz, Assistant Medical Examiner
- Michael Redlick’s cause of death was a stab wound to the torso, and the manner of death is homicide.
- Redlick had bruising and contusions to his face, upper inner lip, left side of the body, and left arm
- All the injuries happened during the same incident
- The knife cut a major vein just under the armpit and pierced the top of his lung.
- State Witness #23 – Andy Jones, Inmate Phone Technician, Orange County Sheriff’s Office
- Danielle made two jail calls after the stabbing incident – one to her sister, Melanie, and the other to her daughter, Jadyn
- Redlick used her cellmate pin to place the phone calls due to lack of funds
- Defense Witness #1 – Danielle Justine Redlick, Defendant
- Redlick admitted to stabbing Michael Redlick one time
- Their relationship between the couple was good but turned sour after moving to California
- Michael Redlick worried Danielle would leave him because of his health issues and age
- Couple met in Ohio, moved to Memphis, TN, then California, Indiana, and finally moved to Florida
- Michael Redlick had an affair in 2016 – Redlick filed for divorce
- Divorce was not finalized and tossed from the courts two months later
- January 10 – Michael finds a text from another man to Danielle – confronts her
- January 11 – Michael continues his fight with Danielle that morning and afternoon
- The last time anyone sees the two of them together is at Sawyer’s flag football game.
- Danielle and Michael return home, and the fight continues with Michael allegedly choking Danielle
- She stabs him in the armpit while trying to break free of his grip
- Redlick admitted to stabbing Michael Redlick one time
DAY 3 – 6/13/22
- State Witness #14 – Peter Diebel – Friend of Michael Redlick
- Close friends with Michael Redlick
- Not close with Danielle – polite when he saw her
- On January 11, 2019 – Michael Redlick was coaching the game – I was sitting in a lawn chair near the field.
- Redlick came to the game and set up a chair next to me. We both said hello, but it was not a normal interaction.
- Redlick mentioned she had taken N’Quil earlier, and she wasn’t as animated as normally – she seemed off
- Walked with Michael to the parking lot after the game and we did that man hug. He was cordial.
- Michael was distracted. It was not his normal handshake.
- State Witness #15 – Tarolyn Tucker, Child Services Investigator, Florida Department of Child and Family Services
- First contacted Redlick on January 12, 2019 – wrote her report that night
- Tucker did not make promise to Redlick for her testimony
- Redlick told Tucker about her relationship with Michael
- State Witness #16 – Frederick Copeland, Mental Health Technician
- Danielle told him she was taking a shower and her husband came in to argue
- Claims Michael “must have stabbed himself”
- Danielle came out of the bathroom and found Michael
- State Witness #17 – Joanna Heina, Crime Lab Analyst, FDLE
- Items throughout the home tested positive for blood and matched the DNA of Michael Redlick
- Cross mixtures of DNA found on Redlick’s pants and the floor of the home matched Michael and Danielle’s DNA
- State Witness #18 – Amanda Stephens, Electronic Surveillance Support Analyst
- Described Danielle and Michael’s cell phone activities on January 11 and January 12
- State Witness #19 – Ashley Tilka, DNA Analysis
- Tested DNA on the knives found to have reddish-brown stains
- One knife results were inconclusive
- One knife matched the DNA of Danielle Redlick
- Two knives marched the DNA of Michael Redlick
- State Witness #20 Frank Heinzmann, Digital Forensic Analyst
- Extracted data from Michael’s Samsung laptop and Danielle’s HP laptop
- State Witness #21 Jadyn Redlick, Danielle and Michael Redlick’s Daughter
- Parents had a toxic relationship that was unhealthy
- Close to her father – did a lot of things together
- Danielle was the root of all of the arguments
- Aware that her father was dating another woman when he moved out
- Michael moved back into the home for the children and to work on his marriage
- Things between the couple improved but got worst before the stabbing incident
- Last saw her father when she returned from school. She went to stay at a friend’s house
DAY 2 – 6/10/22
- State Witness #7 – Continuation – Detective Pamela Woehr, Winter Park Police Department
- Conducted interviews with family and friends to determine the root of the relationship problems
- Requested DNA samples from Danielle after she was released from the Baker’s Act facility
- Redlick was not happy to see the police arrive at her home
- In the audio recording of their interaction – Danielle seemed agitated
- In a journal entry, Danielle wrote, “Forgive me for all my wrongdoings”
- Discovered an email from Danielle to Michael on his work laptop
- On the day of the incident, Michael went to work, then stopped by ABC liquor store to purchase alcohol at 442 pm. He then went to his son’s game and then went home.
- State Witness #8 – Marcia Engilis, Friend of Danielle and Michael Redlick
- Coordinated the sleepover for Sawyer Redlick and son of English
- Danielle seemed distracted after attending Sawyer’s game
- Received a text the following morning from Danielle Redlick asking if Sawyer could stay another day due to a family emergency
- Asked to speak to Sawyer (Danielle’s son)
- State Witness #9 – Maria Molina, Michael Redlick’s Co-worker
- Worked at the University of Central Florida with Michael Redlick
- Prepared meals for the Redlick family
- Michael inquired about properties because he moved out of the family home
- Question about Michael looking for a new job and job performance at UCF
- State Witness #10 – Keith Gruen, Owner of MeetMindful.com
- Danielle Redlick user handle on the site – D Drohan
- She listed that she was separated
- The last message received on the website was on January 8, 2019, and the last message Redlick sent was on January 1, 2019
- No messages were sent or received on January 11, 2019
- State Witness #11 – Stuart James, Forensic Consultant (Blood Pattern Expert)
- 3 Primary Bloodstain Pattern Categories – Passive, Splatter, and Altered
- Blood on the floor and walls were in the process of drying during the cleaning process
- Blood stains were diluted or wiped and smeared
- Michael Redlick’s socks were saturated with blood – he was upright when the blood made contact with his feet
- McDonald’s containers had blood smears
- A knife on the floor and three knives in the sink had reddish-brown stains
- An extensive cleanup was attempted inside the home
- Blood on the floor came from the stab wound to the Michael’s shoulder
- James made a mistake in his report – amended the report on June 5, 2022
- The initial report indicated the blood splatter was inside the bedroom – the blood splatter was on the broken door frame, outside of the bedroom
- Michael Redlick walked into the bedroom, then the bathroom, and back to the living room
- State Witness #12 – John Keane, Redlick’s Neighbor
- Lived in the neighborhood for 14 years and directly across the street from the Redlicks
- Witnesses friction between the couple.
- Described Danielle Redlick as the aggressor
- Michael was passive as Danielle yelled at him
- During the separation, Michael would pick up the children and then leave the property
- Did not see the couple arguing on January 11, 2019
- State Witness #13 – James Montgomery, Digital Forensic Investigator, Orange County Sheriff’s Office
- Asked by the Winter Park Police Department to extract data from Redlick’s iPhone
- Retrieved over 40,000 pages of data
- There were items deleted that could not be recovered – 8 SMS messages
- Redlick called 911 on January 12, 2019, at 9:28:02 a.m.
- iPhone keeps track of every time the phone is illuminated – last time was on January 11, 2019, at 10:50:16 p.m.
- Phone was placed on a charger at 00:31 on January 12 – not active again until 7:20 a.m.
- There were a series of texts to Marcia English after 7:20 a.m.
- Sawyer sleepover plan conversation started on December 30, 2018, and continued until January 11, 2019.
- Danielle sent a text to Marcia asking if Sawyer could stay another day due to a family emergency
- December 7, 2018 – Danielle searched “Mindful + dating app and signed up for an account on MeetMindful.com
- Browsed MeetMindful.com on December 25, 2018
- Searched dating profiles on January 11, 2019, and talked to a man named Mark on January 12, 2019.
- At 7:22 a.m., searched “how to slit your wrists” and “how long before you die after slitting your wrists”
- Danielle texted Jaydn on January 11 – “I’m at Mickey D’s again. Why are you not answering your phone?”
- Danielle visited the MeetMindful site twice on January 11 – 1032 a.m. and 332 p.m.
DAY 1 – 6/9/22
- Attorneys presented their opening statements Thursday morning
- Sean Wiggins told jurors that Danielle Redlick stabbed her husband, Michael, a former sports executive, in the couple’s home on January 11, 2019
- Wiggins said, “the evidence will show that, from the start, Danielle Redlick did everything she could to avoid responsibility for her actions.” He alleges Danielle tried to clean the home sometime in the 11 hours between Michael’s stabbing death and when Danielle first called 911 to “avoid responsibility”
- The following morning, Redlick spent the morning monitoring her dating profile on Meet Mindful, all while Michael was lying dead on the floor
- She eventually called 911 and told the operator that “she thought her husband was deceased” and that he “might have had a heart attack”
- Wiggins described the couple’s home as a “horror scene.” Police officers saw “blood-soaked towels, mops soaked in blood, a five-gallon bucket filled with pinkish water.” Blood was also located in the primary bathroom of the home that contained Michael Redlick’s DNA
- Jurors were told that the couple had a tumultuous relationship that Michael tried to fix. According to text messages, there were several communications between Michael and Danielle where he begged to come home and work things out and he “wasn’t done living under that roof”
- Redlick’s attorney, Catherine Conlon, argued that her client stabbed her husband, Michael, in self-defense. Conlon said it was Michael Redlick who was the aggressor in the relationship and that he cheated on Danielle. But when Danielle started speaking with other men on dating apps, Michael became “irate” and “angry”
- The night of the incident, Danielle and Michael got into a physical altercation in which Michael allegedly choked and smothered Danielle. Danielle grabbed a knife from the kitchen and stabbed Michael, one time, in the shoulder. She was able to break free and “hid in the bathroom”
- Danielle emerged from the bathroom and found a trail of blood leading from the bathroom to the living room, where her husband lay unresponsive. Conlon claims Redlick was “confused, shocked, and in despair”
Prosecutors called seven witnesses Thursday who responded and documented the scene:
- State Witness #1 – Officer Jon Stanford, Winter Park Police Department
- Could see a dark shadow behind the door – we announced for the person to come out and they came out. It was Danielle Redlick
- She appeared to be upset and she was still on the phone with the dispatcher
- How did you clear the remainder of the house? I went around and retreat back to the front door and went to the left side near the kitchen and went up the stairs to the loft area. Before that, I saw a knife lying on the ground in the kitchen
- Redlick was cooperative
- Knife was on the floor in between the living room and kitchen
- You said Redlick was upset? She seemed upset at first and then later on she didn’t seem to be in distress
- How was her demeanor? Nonchalant
- State Witness #2 – Officer Sheree Slaughter, Winter Park Police Department
- They told me to stay outside and process the scene
- Documented the woman outside the home – Danielle Redlick
- State Witness #3 – Carla Sundvall, Former CSI Technician, FDLE
- Gave a detailed description of evidence collected at the scene
- WATCH: 6/9/22 Kitchen Knife Murder Trial: Jury Views Crime Scene Photos
- State Witness #4 – Loren Galloway, Former Police Officer, Winter Park Police Dept.
- Documented Danielle Redlick at AdventHealth Orlando
- Took photos of Redlick’s injuries – hands, left arm, and her head
- Did not take pictures of her wrist because Redlick would not allow Galloway to take photos
- State Witness #5 – Dr. Kristen Vandervelde, AdventHealth Orlando
- Outside the bruise on Redlick’s left arm did not observe any additional injuries
- Redlick had 4cm lacerations to wrists – not actively bleeding
- Redlick did not indicate injury to head
- Pupils Normal and no neurological trauma
- Normal range of motion and full range of hands and wrists
- State Witness #6 – Edward Bigley, Evidence Technician, Winter Park Police Dept.
- Documented Redlick’s injuries at the hospital – photographs
- Documented Redlick’s home – video
- State Witness #7 – Detective Pamela Woehr, Winter Park Police Dept.
- Learned there was a 911 call that the husband had a heart attack and then later learned he was stabbed
- Went to the hospital and talk to her and find out the whereabouts of the two minor children and find out what happen and find out about next of kin
- Received a call from a supervisor that Jayden was dropped off at home by friends. Jayden helped us with the address to retrieve Sawyer
- During the autopsy, there was milky consistency on his pants that was similar to egg whites on his pants
- Autopsy determined that Michael Redlick was not responsible for his death
- WATCH: 6/9/22 Kitchen Knife Murder Trial: Day 1
- WATCH: 6/9/22 FL v. Redlick: How Did Stepfather and Stepdaughter End Up Married?
6 Men and 2 Women
(1-Asian or Pacific Islander Man, 1-Black Woman, 2-Hispanic Men, 1-White Woman, 3-White Men)
Danielle, who was 45-years-old at the time, told detectives Michael started the argument the evening of January 11 by spitting a piece of a McDonald’s hamburger in her face and pushing her to the ground. Danielle said she grabbed a knife from a drawer and claimed Michael took the knife from her and made a stabbing motion at himself.
Michael lay dying in a pool of blood on the floor of his home throughout the night without receiving medical attention.
Danielle said she could not find her cell phone to call for help, and claimed she attempted CPR on her husband. She then went to sleep and awoke the following morning, saying she “didn’t know what to do,” and then tried to commit suicide by slitting her wrists. Danielle called 911 when she began bleeding.
The 911 Calls
Danielle told the 911 dispatcher that Michael “might” have had a heart attack and then during the same call changed her story, stating that Michael stabbed himself to death during an argument, taking a kitchen knife from her hand and stabbing himself in his shoulder.
The operator grew suspicious of Danielle’s story, asking why she didn’t call 911 at the time.
Danielle hesitantly replied, “Yeah, um, I’m on probation, and I was afraid, and I didn’t think anyone would believe me, and I was just trying to get him to wake up.” She went on to say she was “just exhausted.”
Officers with the Winter Park Police Department, located in suburban Orlando, arrived at the home just after 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 12. The couple’s roundabout brick driveway was covered with broken eggshells, which showed evidence that Michael’s car had been egged. Danielle was waiting for police outside the home, reportedly looking disheveled.
Police photos show Danielle with wounds to her wrist and blood on her neck and feet. She was taken to an Orlando-area hospital.
Once inside the home, police smelled a strong odor of bleach and discovered several bloody towels piled in a corner, including bloody footprints, and also found a bucket of “pink liquid” at the bottom of the stairs. It appeared as though someone had been cleaning, leaving circular streaks in the blood trail. They found Michael lying just past the foyer near a wall next to the living room. A serrated knife — which police believed to be the murder weapon — was found in the kitchen’s entryway.
Detective Pamela Woehr wrote in the arrest affidavit that a McDonald’s container with blood on the outside was found in the trash can. It appeared the burger and fries had been eaten. A receipt indicated a quarter pounder with fries had been purchased on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 9:43 p.m.
During an interview with the Florida Department of Children and Families, Danielle claimed she was in the kitchen eating a Quarter Pounder when Michael took the sandwich, took a bite out of it, and spit it back in her face. He then grabbed her arms and pushed her down onto the ground. Danielle said she tried to get up and hit her head against the top of the stove. The two began to struggle, and she grabbed a kitchen knife from the drawer.
Michael allegedly took the knife out of her hand and said, “What are you gonna do? Stab me?” He then made a motion as if he would stab himself.
According to the arrest affidavit, Danielle fled to the bathroom and shut the door. She said she could hear Michael on the other side of the door moaning and muttering.
Danielle told investigators that she waited until all was quiet before leaving the bathroom, saw a trail of blood leading from the bathroom to the living room, and found Michael looking disoriented, possibly dead. Danielle attempted CPR, but Michael vomited. She continued chest compressions until she “became exhausted and collapsed next to him.”
Police wrote in their report that Danielle remembered lying next to Michael, thinking, “What am I going to do?”
Phone records show Danielle spent two hours on a dating app before calling for help. She called 911 11 hours after the incident the night before, and right after she cut herself.
After a three-week investigation, police determined they had enough evidence to show that Michael’s wounds to his torso were not self-inflicted. In addition, the medical examiner’s report stated Michael had sustained a cut beneath his eye, a black and blue injury on the inside of his upper lip, and bruising on his arm consistent with self-defense. There were no traces of vomit found in Redlick’s body and no indication that Michael had suffered a heart attack.
A crime lab report stated Michael had a “clear mucus-like substance” on his blood-soaked jeans. Woehr noted the substance may have been from eggs thrown at Michael’s vehicle.
On February 7, 2019, Danielle was charged with murder and trying to conceal evidence.
Detectives learned that the couple had a tumultuous relationship, with constant fights about infidelity and dating apps. Police had been called to their home on at least two occasions because of their arguments.
Neighbors of the Redlicks told police that the couple had a “rocky relationship and fought often.” According to the affidavit, one of them told police that Michael described Danielle as “crazy” and had joked, “as long as I hide the steak knives, everything will be fine.” Michael joked again about hiding knives after moving back into his home after a failed divorce filing in December 2018.
Those same neighbors saw Michael move out of the family home several times, and according to Michael, he moved out so the children wouldn’t see them fighting.
The couple’s children, a 15-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy, were not home at the time. They told a family service official that their mother was “usually the aggressor during the fight.” They felt the couple’s relationship improved until several days before Michael was killed. The boy told the officials he knew something was wrong when his parents didn’t show up for his baseball game.
A search of Michael’s computer yielded approximately 77 e-mail correspondences with his wife and other emails of interest. In one e-mail, Michael wrote to a friend, “My family is scheduled to move here in December during winter break unless Danielle kills or divorces my ass. Neither is beyond possibility,” a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report says.
During Redlick’s first court appearance, her then-private attorney, Charles Frederick, stated all evidence was circumstantial, and his client had acted in self-defense. Redlick was denied bond and barred from unsupervised contact with the children.
Stepdaughter Turned Wife
According to WFTV, Danielle and Michael’s relationship was complicated, but their backstory is even more complex: Michael was once Danielle’s stepfather.
Police believe Michael married Danielle’s mother, Kathleen Aquino, to help her get better health insurance. She was suffering from breast cancer at the time.
After Kathleen’s death, Michael reportedly fell in love with Danielle, who was 20 years his junior. Danielle and Michael were married for 17 years.
Charges against Danielle include second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence. If convicted, she faces life in prison.
Court TV field producer Tiffany Smith contributed to this report.