Once again, the trial has been delayed for Mark Redwine, who was arrested nearly three years ago for allegedly killing his 13-year-old son.
Redwine was scheduled to start a 28-day trial July 8.
The Colorado Supreme Court this month, however, extended a ban on jury trials until Aug. 3 because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, necessitating another push back in Redwine’s long-awaited trial.
After a brief discussion Tuesday between prosecutors, Redwine’s defense attorneys and Judge Jeffery Wilson, who is overseeing the case, a new trial was scheduled to begin Oct. 28.
Wilson said under current conditions, “it would be impossible to safely assemble a jury pool due to the public health crisis” for Redwine’s trial, which is expected to bring in an estimated 600 people to the high-profile case.
“There’s really no good time (to reset the trial) when we don’t know what’s going to happen,” Wilson said. “But my personal opinion is the longer we wait, the less likely it’ll go if we see a resurgence of the virus (in the fall).”
Wilson said there is only one courtroom in the La Plata Courthouse that can accommodate such a large jury pool while at the same time adhering to social-distancing guidelines.
He said the earliest availability for the courtroom was Aug. 31, and initially suggested starting the trial on that date.
But 6th Judicial District Attorney Christian Champagne, prosecuting the case, said his office has “major scheduling” issues over the next few months, and wouldn’t be able to start Redwine’s trial until early November.
Justin Bogan, one of Redwine’s public defenders, said he would be ready Aug. 31.
But Champagne said if a trial were set for August, his office would have to replace a special deputy district attorney assisting with the case, which would result in further delays.
“It would take a substantial amount of time for a new member of the team to catch up,” Champagne said.
All sides agreed to an Oct. 28 start date. A pre-trial conference hearing is scheduled for Oct. 8.
This is the third time Redwine’s trial has been delayed as a result of complications associated with the coronavirus outbreak. The trial has also undergone several other postponements since his arrest in 2017.
“We’ve delayed this and delayed this and delayed this, mostly to make sure Mr. Redwine has a fair trial,” Wilson said. “And then other things happened.”
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.
Speaking via teleconference, Elaine Hall, Dylan’s mother, voiced frustration with the setbacks that have plagued Redwine’s case.
“I understand what’s going on with the pandemic,” she said. “But ... it’s very frustrating. And there’s nothing we can say or do about it.”
Champagne said in a previous interview with The Durango Herald that the trial initially experienced several delays because Redwine’s defense attorneys asked for a number of postponements to prepare for trial.
Redwine was supposed to go to trial in September 2019, 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.
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.