Prosecutors say Mark Redwine killed his 13-year-old son, Dylan, in La Plata County about 6½ years ago. Now, they have provided the court with detailed information about the boy’s statements to family, friends and legal professionals that they say link the father to the boy’s death.
Sixth Judicial District Attorney Christian Champagne filed a second-degree murder charge against Redwine in 2017, five years after Dylan disappeared after arriving in La Plata County on a court-ordered visit to his father. Court documents filed at the time suggested that tension between Redwine and his son was the “ultimate motive for the murder.”
Attorneys working the Redwine trial have been barred from speaking about the case and, therefore, declined to comment.
Redwine is charged with second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death, both Class 2 felonies. He faces 16 to 48 years in prison if found guilty of either charge.
Prosecutors formalized the statements they would like to introduce from Dylan in a document that details what the boy said to others about his relationship with his father. The document, as ordered by 6th Judicial District Court Chief Judge Jeffery Wilson, cites evidence contained in hundreds of pages of discovery.
Wilson must now review Dylan’s statements and decide whether 13 conversations the boy had with 10 people before he died will be permitted at trial, which is scheduled to start Sept. 18.
The law Champagne is asking Wilson to rule on is known as hearsay: a statement about another person’s words that cannot be substantiated, cross-examined or established as credible. For example, if someone is testifying about a conversation she had with a friend as truth, but the friend cannot appear in court to substantiate the conversation, that would be hearsay.
In this case, Dylan is not able to testify about the statements prosecutors are attempting to admit into evidence or be cross-examined by the defense.
But prosecutors say the boy’s words are crucial to fact-finding, suggesting Dylan’s statements corroborate each other. Prosecutors maintain:
The boy had no reason to lie about the tension between him and his father.Audio recordings and electronic records confirm the truthfulness of the conversations.It would be an “injustice” to not allow the jury to consider Dylan’s statements, especially because his father downplayed the tension in the relationship to law enforcement after the boy’s death.“Dylan cannot speak for himself, but he made it clear to many people that he did not want to visit the defendant and that there was significant tension in his relationship with his father,” Champagne wrote in a notice to introduce statements.
He added: “To allow the defendant to downplay this tension and mischaracterize this relationship to law enforcement in interview after interview without the jury having Dylan Redwine’s input would be an injustice and thwart the fact-finding, truth-seeking responsibility of the jury.”