The latest attempt to try Mark Redwine, who is accused of killing of his 13-year-old son, Dylan, in 2012, is scheduled to begin Monday with jury selection.
One hundred and thirty-five people, 45 people in three groups, have been called to the La Plata County Courthouse as potential jurors.
Judge Jeffrey Wilson’s goal is to have attorneys trim the pool down to about 28 potential jurors from each group to move on to individual questioning and selection of a 14-member jury, 12 jurors and two alternates.
A jury is expected to be selected by the morning of June 21, with opening arguments expected to get under way that afternoon.
The trial is expected to last until Aug. 2.
More than 1,000 exhibits could be introduced and dozens of witnesses called.
The prosecution has 500-plus exhibits it might introduce at trial and a similar number is expected from the defense.
At a pretrial conference on Friday, District Attorney Christian Champagne said 5-inch thick binders will be provided for jurors to keep track of exhibits, and defense attorney Justin Bogan said the defense team plans to follow a similar procedure.
“If we’re talking about 500 exhibits from the prosecution and who knows how many from (the defense) it’s going to be hard on the jurors,” Wilson said.
Redwine is charged with second-degree murder and knowingly reckless child abuse.
Stemming from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Redwine’s trial has been postponed and delayed numerous times since he was arrested in 2017 in connection with the death.
A trial that began in October 2020 ended in a mistrial on Nov. 9, 2020, when Redwine’s defense attorneys reported multiple members of their team were showing signs of the novel coronavirus.
Another trial was rescheduled for January 2020, but Wilson delayed it until April 12 because of the high transmission rate of COVID-19 in La Plata County.
Then, on March 5, the transmission rates of the virus again forced Wilson to delay the trial until summer. Now, it’s expected to get under way Monday.
At the hearing on March 5, Redwine told the court: “This has gone on far too long. My day in court is a long, long, long time overdue.”
Dylan’s mother, Elaine Hall, also expressed frustration about the delays during the March 5 hearing.
“It’s overwhelming, and I always try to think of a creative way to say the same thing, and I can’t,” she said. “The bottom line is: At some point, we have to move on with this trial. There has to be finalization of this story of Dylan, and we need that final chapter. The way it looks right now, we’re never going to get there.”
The homicide trial is the most high-profile case in Southwest Colorado in years. The boy’s death caught international media attention shortly after Dylan went missing in November 2012.
Dylan was last seen alive Nov. 18, 2012, when he arrived at the airport for a court-ordered Thanksgiving holiday visit. Redwine and Hall divorced in 2007, and Hall moved her two sons to Colorado Springs.
After an extensive search, Dylan’s remains were found in a mountainous area in 2013, about 10 miles from his father’s Vallecito home. Dylan’s death was ruled a homicide in 2015, yet for the next two years, no arrests were made in connection with his disappearance.
In July 2017, however, Redwine was arrested while working as a truck driver in Washington state, and charged on suspicion of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death.
For years, prosecutors have maintained Redwine’s motive stems from a contentious relationship with his son, who reportedly did not want to visit his father during the court-ordered visit.
Redwine, for his part, said he left early on the morning of Nov. 19 to run errands in Durango, and when he returned, Dylan wasn’t there. At first, Redwine said he didn’t think much of it, and he assumed Dylan went to visit friends.