A District Court judge on Tuesday lowered bail for Mark Redwine, the man accused of killing his son Dylan, from $1 million cash-only to $750,000 cash surety – meaning he can post bail through a bail bondsman. Even working through a bondsman, Redwine must come up with about $112,500 to go free.
He wore an orange jail-issued jumpsuit Tuesday during an advisement hearing. He sat slouched in a chair next to his public defenders, Justin Bogan and John Moran.
He answered routine questions about whether he understood the charges against him and his rights by saying, “I do.”
The right side of the courtroom gallery, behind the prosecutor, was packed with Dylan’s family, courthouse staff, lawyers, investigators and about a dozen sheriff’s deputies.
Dylan’s mother, Elaine Hall, and Dylan’s older brother, Cory Redwine, both made brief statements, asking that bail be left at $1 million cash only. They said Redwine’s behavior has become increasingly erratic in recent years.
“His temper and his violence and his reaction to things can be an unknown,” Cory Redwine said. “We just don’t feel comfortable with it.”
It was Redwine’s initial court appearance in 6th Judicial District Court in La Plata County. District Judge Jeffrey Wilson advised Redwine of his rights and pending charges.
Redwine, 55, is suspected of killing his 13-year-old son, Dylan, in November 2012. A grand jury issued an indictment last month accusing him of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.
He faces 16 to 48 years in prison if convicted on either count.
His defense lawyers portrayed Redwine as a victim who lost his son and family, and has “endured hatred” from his community. He has been under a “cloud of suspicion since Day 1,” yet he has never tried to flee, he keeps to himself, he works as a long-haul trucker and he has maintained his innocence, Moran said.
“This grieving father lost his son and has been falsely accused of killing him,” Moran said.
He asked the court to treat Redwine as innocent until proven guilty, saying the case against him is not strong. If it was, it wouldn’t have taken nearly five years, two sheriff’s and two district attorney’s to secure an indictment, he said.
District Attorney Christian Champagne said society deems Redwine’s crimes as some of the “most heinous.” Redwine has a temper and has been known to lash out at people who speak to him about the case.
He lives mostly in Phoenix. As a long-haul trucker, he doesn’t have strong ties to anywhere, Champagne said.
“We have reason to believe Mr. Redwine is a flight risk,” he said. “... This man’s crime is terrible. It shows his character.”
Redwine has a relatively minor criminal history, including disorderly conduct, theft and a burglary case that was dismissed. One of his cases involved allegations of child abuse, Champagne said.
Judge Wilson said he’s concerned about the community’s safety and Redwine being a flight risk, in part because he has spent most of his time outside La Plata County in recent years.
Redwine was arrested July 21 in Bellingham, Washington. He eventually waived his right to an extradition hearing, which allowed the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office to retrieve him and bring him back to Colorado.
Sheriff’s deputies boarded a private flight Sunday from the Animas Airpark to Washington. They spent the night in Washington before putting Redwine on the 7½-hour return flight Monday.
The charter flight cost about $2,000, not including pilot fees, said Megan Graham, spokeswoman for La Plata County government. It is not totally unusual for the Sheriff’s Office to use chartered flights to transport inmates, she said, especially across long distances.
The Sheriff’s Office spends $10,000 to $25,000 annually on those flights, she said.
The charter flight made sense from a cost and logistical standpoint, Graham said. If deputies drove to Washington, they would have been on the road for several days, staying at hotels, and would have had to find jails for Redwine to stay along the way, she said.
Redwine’s arrest came as a major development in the 4½-year investigation into the disappearance and death of Dylan Redwine.
Dylan arrived by airplane Nov. 18, 2012, from Colorado Springs for a court-ordered visit with his father. The boy was reported missing the next day, setting off several searches by law enforcement and the community for any signs of him.
Some of his remains were found in June 2013 in a remote location about 8 miles by road from Redwine’s home, north of Vallecito Reservoir.
The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office named Redwine a “person of interest” in August 2015, and hikers found Dylan’s skull on Nov. 1, 2015, about 1½ miles from where his previous remains were found.
District Attorney Christian Champagne called it a “turning point” in the investigation. Prosecutors presented their case to a La Plata County grand jury July 17 through 19, and the grand jury handed down its indictment on July 20.
According to the indictment, Dylan’s blood was found in Redwine’s living room and a cadaver-sniffing dog detected the sent of a deceased body in Redwine’s living room, washing machine, the bed of his pickup and on the clothes Redwine reportedly wore the night Dylan went missing. Dylan’s skull had injuries consistent with blunt force trauma in two locations. It also had two small markings consistent with knife markings, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors have declined to discuss a motive in the case. According to the indictment, Dylan didn’t want to visit his father and had argued with him during a previous visit. Dylan also had seen “compromising pictures” of his father, and reportedly planned to confront his father about those pictures during their visit, according to the indictment. Prosecutors have declined to describe the contents of the photographs.
In interviews earlier this year with The Durango Herald, Redwine expressed frustration with the Sheriff’s Office for its handling of the case, including that it has been nearly five years since his son went missing, with no resolution. He advocated for more searches on Middle Mountain, going so far as to organize his own search scheduled for earlier this month, which never occurred because of Redwine’s arrest.
Redwine took direct aim at Sheriff Sean Smith, saying the sheriff refused to return his calls or have a sit-down meeting with him.
“Whatever they’re doing ain’t working,” he said during an April 14 interview. “I’m not satisfied that they’ve done everything possible. I believe that if Dylan was ever on that mountain, Dylan is still on that mountain. ... There’s a bad taste in my mouth with these people. I don’t talk to them, they don’t want to talk to me.”
At the time, Redwine knew some of Dylan’s remains had been found on Middle Mountain, but the Sheriff’s Office never told Redwine that his son’s skull had been found.
He rejected the idea of being named a “person of interest,” saying the label has no meaning.
“I think they’re fishing in the wrong pond, and I think they’ve been fishing in the wrong pond from Day 1,” he said in April. “I think the reason they’re fishing in that pond has everything to do with my ex-wife and leading them down the wrong road from the very beginning.”
firstname.lastname@example.orgCory Redwine said “His temper and his violence and his reaction to things can be an unknown. We just don’t feel comfortable with it.” An earlier version of this story misattributed the quote to Elaine Hall.