Opening statements begin in Mark Redwine trial

DURANGO, Colo. – After years of delay, opening statements in the Mark Redwine trial got underway in Durango Monday. The father, charged with second-degree murder and child abuse leading to death, is accused of killing his 13-year-old Dylan Redwine in 2012.

Prosecutors argued that Redwine became enraged when Dylan Redwine and his older brother, Cory Redwine, seen compromising photos of him and killed his son. Prosecutors said the brothers referred to their father as a “sh-t eater.”

Redwine’s defense attorney argued that it was an absurd notion that Redwine would kill anyone who viewed those photos, especially his son. They argued that Dylan left his father’s home after Redwine denied Dylan permission to sleep over at his friend’s house. His defense team argued that Dylan was attacked and killed by a mountain lion or bear while the 13-year-old was leaving Redwine’s home.

Dylan was on a court-ordered visit to see Redwine, around Thanksgiving Day 2012. The teenager was last seen alive on Nov. 18, 2012.

The partial remains of Dylan were found 10 miles from his father’s home north of Vallecito Lake in La Plata County in June 2013, according to an indictment. His skull was located more than two years later, on Nov. 1, 2015, about a mile and a half from the previously located remains.

Anthropologists who studied the skull determined the injuries were consistent with blunt force trauma in two locations, according to an indictment. The skull also had two small markings consistent with tool marks from a knife, the indictment shows.

A La Plata County prosecutor told the jury that the state will call up 50 witnesses during the course of the trial and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Redwine killed his 13-year-old son and “redirected(investigators) for months and years to avoid this very day.”

Prosecutors played a video showing Dylan and Redwine visiting a Walmart the day Dylan arrived in Durango. They argued the video shows animosity that Dylan felt for his father.

During opening arguments, prosecutors said that animosity came to a head when Redwine discovered that Dylan had seen disturbing photos depicting Redwine. They said Redwine drove Dylan down a dead end road after leaving Walmart and going through a McDonald’s drive thru the night of Nov. 18, 2012, and was not seen alive again. They said all communication and roaming data from Dylan’s cellphone ceased on April 19.

Prosecutors showed the jury photos of Redwine’s living room, where they said luminal was used to show blood evidence on the floor under an area rug. Prosecutors said investigators also found Dylan’s blood on a couch cushion.

Redwine’s defense lawyer tried to poke holes in the evidence, arguing that Dylan’s blood found on the couch cushion was “infinitesimally small.”

His attorney argued that Redwine was a loving father and would not harm his son. They argued that after Redwine refused to allow Dylan to sleep over at a friend’s house, Dylan got up early in the morning on April 19 and snuck out of his father’s home while Redwine was at work. While Dylan was walking the five miles to his friend’s home, a mountain lion or bear attacked and killed Dylan, his defense attorney argued.

His attorney argued that the blunt force trauma observed on Dylan’s skull is consistent with the force of a jaw from a mountain lion or bear.

Jury selection began last Monday after years of delay. His trial was initially set to begin last year but was rescheduled several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The trial could go into the end of next month. The jury will be back in the courtroom Tuesday morning.