The trial for Mark Redwine, who was arrested nearly three years ago for allegedly killing his 13-year-old son, has once again been postponed because of complications with the coronavirus pandemic.
On May 5, the Supreme Court of Colorado suspended all jury trials in Colorado, based on health guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, namely, by avoiding large gatherings of people.
Anticipating the order, 6th Judicial District Judge Jeffery Wilson held a conference hearing for Redwine on April 20, pushing his trial date back to July 8.
This is the second time Redwine’s trial has been delayed as a result of complications associated with the coronavirus outbreak: In March, a jury trial set for April 2 was postponed to May 26.
Redwine was arrested July 22, 2017, on suspicion of killing his 13-year-old son, Dylan, who disappeared from his father’s home in Vallecito in November 2012. Dylan’s remains were found in June 2013, 10 miles from his father’s home.
Since his arrest, Redwine’s case has been plagued with setbacks.
At first, Redwine’s defense attorneys asked for several postponements to prepare for trial, said 6th Judicial District Attorney Christian Champagne.
“We didn’t object because we wanted a fair process to make sure justice is done,” Champagne said. “We’ve been ready for trial.”
Redwine was supposed to go to trial in September, but then one of his public defenders, John Moran, was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. The charges were ultimately dismissed, but court proceedings were further delayed.
Justin Bogan, Redwine’s other public defender, did not return a call seeking comment.
The delays have resulted in the now 58-year-old Vallecito man spending nearly three years in La Plata County Jail. He is being held on $750,000 bail.
“It’s frustrating to the prosecution, to the victims and to the defendant,” Champagne said of the delayed trial.
State court officials are working on a plan to reopen jury trials, but in a manner that will ensure the safety of jurors and all those present at court hearings.
Champagne said people may be brought in waves during jury selection or court officials may use larger buildings, such as those at the La Plata County Fairgrounds, to allow for greater social distancing.
The court has previously said it plans to summon hundreds of people as potential jurors for Redwine’s highly publicized case.
Once selected, the 12-person jury with three alternates will likely have to sit 6 feet apart, with everyone in the courtroom wearing masks.
“It’s a challenge and new territory,” Champagne said. “It’s critically important to our democracy for the criminal justice system to work, but we have to ensure ... it’s a safe process.”
Eric Hogue, 6th Judicial District court administrator, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Wednesday afternoon. Rob McCallum, spokesman for the state judicial system, also did not immediately return a request for comment.
Redwine has a pretrial conference hearing set for June 11. His trial is scheduled to begin July 8 and is scheduled to last 27 days.