Jurors on Friday found Mark Redwine guilty of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death, bringing an end to a five-week trial and nine-year investigation into the disappearance of his 13-year-old son, Dylan.
A packed courtroom at the La Plata County Courthouse erupted with gasps Friday as the verdict was read by 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Jeffrey Wilson. The decision came after about six hours of jury deliberations.
Redwine, wearing a green tie, black shirt and dark pants, showed no emotion. He stood with both hands clasped in front of him, and sat calmly after the verdicts were read.
The 12-person jury sat through a five-week trial in which dozens of witnesses testified and hundreds of exhibits were presented as evidence.
The jury heard about six hours of closing arguments before going into deliberations about 3:30 p.m. Thursday. The court announced jurors had reached a verdict shortly before 2 p.m. Friday.
“This has been an extremely difficult case for everybody involved,” Wilson told the court before announcing the verdict. Wilson also warned those in the courtroom to “behave” as the decision was read.
Redwine’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8. He faces up to 48 years in prison. He is being held in the La Plata County Jail without bail.
Prosecutors said Redwine killed his son in a fit of rage on Nov. 18, 2012, after the boy confronted his father about photos showing his father in women’s lingerie while eating what appeared to be feces from a diaper.
Cory Redwine, Dylan’s brother, testified that Dylan “lost all respect” for his father when the two found the pictures during a 2011 Midwest trip.
Defense lawyers said Dylan was alive the morning of Nov. 19, when his father made a trip into town to do a work-related activity and to visit his attorney. He returned home to find Dylan missing, a bowl of cereal on the table and the television turned to Nickelodeon.
They suggested harm may have befallen Dylan by a stranger or wildlife in the rugged backcountry north of Vallecito Reservoir.
Prosecutors emphasized during closing arguments that Dylan was “scared” to visit his father for Thanksgiving. Elaine Hall, Dylan’s mother, had just won a contentious custody battle months before that allowed her to move to Colorado Springs. Divorce proceedings between Hall and Redwine lasted from 2005 to 2009 with ongoing custody disputes.
Law enforcement and family testified that Redwine appeared “laid-back” and displayed “odd” behavior when Dylan went missing and put little effort into finding his son.
Public defender Justin Bogan argued that Redwine didn’t have the time or knowledge of anatomy to dispose of his son and get to work in Durango the next morning.
Some of Dylan Redwine’s remains were found in June 2013 near his father’s home. Hikers found his skull in 2015.
“I figured he was safe because he was with his dad, and I was devastated that no one knew where my son was,” Hall told jurors in June.
The family went on the “Dr. Phil” show in February 2013 before Dylan’s remains were found. Hall confronted Redwine on the show and demanded answers about their son’s disappearance and was concerned he hurt Dylan.
“When you’re mad at somebody, your main focus is to get even or get back at them and hurt them,” Hall told Redwine on the show. “That’s how your mind works.”
Redwine agreed to take a polygraph test on the show, but as the test was getting set up, Redwine declined to take the test.
Hall filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Redwine in June 2015, which was dismissed based on statute of limitations. Months later, Redwine was deemed a “person of interest” in the case.
Redwine was indicted in 2017 in connection with the disappearance of his son because of blood found in the home belonging to Dylan. The trial was delayed several times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and after one of Redwine’s attorneys was arrested in 2019 on domestic violence charges, which were later dismissed.
Before the verdict was given, jurors requested the transcript of FBI Agent John Grusing’s testimony and the agent’s report, but transcripts are typically not allowed back with the jury. The prosecution and defense opposed providing the transcripts, and Wilson agreed.
Less than a half hour later, jurors announced they had reached a verdict.
Kaela Roeder is an intern for The Durango Herald and The Journal in Cortez and a 2021 graduate of American University in Washington, D.C.