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Florida Woman Stands Trial For Murder In Stepfather-Turned-Husband’s Killing

Prosecutors say Danielle Redlick checked messages on a dating app in the hours after she stabbed her husband, Michael Redlick, to death but before she called the police.

By Dorian Geiger
Mike Redlick and Danielle Redlick

The trial for a Florida woman who allegedly fatally stabbed her husband — who was previously her stepfather — in 2019 got underway this week.

An Orange County jury heard opening statements from attorneys Thursday in the murder trial of Danielle Redlick, 47, accused stabbing her husband Michael Redlick, 65, to death at their home more than three years ago.

Prosecutors contend that Redlick fatally stabbed her spouse and then waited 11 hours before calling police, scrolling through a dating app and cleaning up the crime scene in the interim. In their opening statements Thursday, they compared the crime scene at the couple’s home to a “horror movie.”

“This defendant did everything she could to avoid responsibility,” prosecutor Sean Wiggins said in court, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “She cleans up the scene. She deletes the texts. And she tells everyone that will listen that she is not responsible for this crime.”

Danielle Redlick called 911 on Jan. 12, 2019 shortly before 9:30 a.m. and stated her husband was dead and there had been a “tragedy in the home,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. She first alleged her husband might have had a heart attack and before claiming the pair had an “altercation” and her husband “stabbed himself.”

Upon arrival, police discovered the body of Michael Redlick between the foyer and living room. He'd died after bleeding out from an apparent stab wound to his shoulder, according to a preliminary post-mortem examination; the medical examiner ultimately said it was not self-inflicted and that he would've bled to death in about six minutes. The 65-year-old man was shirtless, but his jeans were soaked in blood and he also had apparent laceration to his left eye.

Danielle Redlick was also found with self-inflicted injuries; she allegedly injured her wrists approximately 30 to 45 minutes prior to law enforcement responding to the property, charging documents allege, but wasn't bleeding by the time police arrived. 

Shortly after arriving at the home, investigators concluded that the crime scene had been “tampered with,” the affidavit alleged. Detectives observed a strong smell of bleach in the home, bloody towels in multiple locations and circular markings in the foyer, suggesting areas of the home had been wiped down. There was a bloody mop and a bucket with bloody water near the stairs, four bloody knives in the kitchen, bloody footprints in the living room and other blood evidence upstairs in the master bedroom and bathroom. They also alleged found Michael Redlick's bloody shirt, with a tear that matched his stab wound, in one of the piles of bloody towels.

Following the deadly knife attack, Danielle Redlick allegedly checked messages on a dating app and researched suicide methods online before authorities arrived the morning after, according to the Orlando Sentinel. 

She was later arrested and charged with second-degree murder and evidence tampering, according to a separate arrest warrant obtained by Oxygen.com. At the time of the incident, Danielle Redlick was on probation. She pleaded not guilty to her husband’s killing in March 2019, separate court documents show.

Danielle’s mother was Michael Redlick’s second wife, WFTV reported. Michael Redlick married Danielle, who was 20 years younger than him, after her mother — his first wife — died of cancer in 1999. They stayed married for more than 15 years.

According to charging documents, witnesses described the couple’s marriage as “rocky.” Danielle Redlick filed for divorce in 2018 after her husband allegedly cheated on her, however, a judge later quashed her petition due to Michael Redlick not being properly served with divorce documents, the Orlando Sentinel reported, citing court filings.

An acquaintance of Michael Redlick told detectives that the man — who confided in the unnamed witness regarding the couple’s marital issues — accused Danielle Redlick of having anger issues. The couple frequently had heated arguments, the witness explained, and Michael Redlick believed his wife had a drinking problem.

In one instance, Michael Redlick told the witness that his spouse “is crazy but as long as I hide the steak knives everything will be fine,” court records state.

The couple's children, who were 15 and 11, told investigators that their mother instigated their parents fights and are expected to testify against her at trial, according to WFTV

Prosecutors contended that after deteriorating for a number of years, the couple’s 15-year marriage ultimately took a deadly turn.

"She was not interested in a life with Mr. Redlick," Wiggins added. "She was never going to make the relationship work. She was done."

Redlick’s lawyers, however, didn’t contest that the Florida woman had attacked her husband with a knife, instead insisting that the Florida woman had acted in self-defense.

"Danielle Redlick did stab Michael Redlick," her defense attorney, Catherline Conlon, told jurors, per the Orlando Sentinel. "She had no choice but to defend her life. You'll hear about a violent attack in the kitchen. Danielle reacted in confusion, despair and trauma."

Conlon didn’t immediately respond to Oxygen.com’s request for comment on Friday morning.

MIchael Redlick worked as the director of external affairs and partnership relations for the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program.

Danielle Redlick is being held at an Orange County detention facility, online jail records show. If convicted on murder charges, she faces life in prison, according to state laws.