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An Orlando, Florida, jury on Friday found Danielle Redlick not guilty in the stabbing death of her stepdad-turned-husband, Michael Redlick.
The jury began deliberations Thursday and on Friday acquitted Danielle of second-degree murder. The jury did, however, find Danielle guilty of tampering with evidence, according to Orange County records.
Danielle, 48, and Michael, who was 65 at the time of his death, have two children together. They were married for 15 years before Danielle allegedly stabbed Michael, an ex-NBA executive, to death in their Winter Park home on Jan. 11, 2019, after a fight.
Redlick appeared to burst into tears once the verdict was read, a live stream of the hearing from the Law & Crime Channel shows.
DANIELLE REDLICK TRIAL: PROSECUTOR DESCRIBES ‘HORROR SCENE’ AFTER STABBING DEATH OF STEPDAD-TURNED-HUSBAND
Her attorney, Catherine Conlon, argued that Danielle stabbed her husband in the shoulder in self-defense, while state prosecutor Sean Wiggins painted a more violent picture — describing the couple’s home after Michael’s killing as a “horror scene.”
“The evidence will show that, from the start, this defendant did everything she could to avoid responsibility for her actions,” Wiggins said in his opening statement, alleging that Danielle had tried to clean the scene sometime in the 11 hours that passed between Michael’s stabbing death and Danielle’s first 911 call to “avoid responsibility.”
He went on to describe what responding officers saw at the scene, including “blood-soaked towels, mops soaked in blood, a five-gallon bucket filled with pinkish water,” as well as “blood in the primary bedroom shower” that contained Michael’s DNA.
When Danielle did eventually call 911, she stated that there had been “a tragedy” at her home and that she believed her husband was “deceased,” according to a 2019 warrant.
“He’s been…I just…he’s stiff and he might have had a heart attack. I don’t know,” Danielle told 911 operators, the warrant states. A medical examiner found no signs that Michael suffered a heart attack that evening. She then told authorities that Michael “stabbed himself,” and later said she stabbed him in an act of self-defense while they fought in the kitchen.
Danielle, who was 20 years her husband’s junior, also allegedly pursued the dating app MeetMindful in the early morning hours after her husband’s death, according to Wiggins.
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Conlon also described a difficult marriage in her opening statement but pointed to Michael as the aggressor.
Michael, she said, was the first one to cheat on Danielle, at which point she left him, and he begged her to come back before threatening to take their children and home. When Danielle later began speaking to other men, Michael became “angry,” Conlon alleged.
On the night of his stabbing death, the pair got into a physical altercation in which Michael allegedly choked and smothered Danielle, making her fear for her life. Michael had forced Danielle to the ground at one point during the fight, at which point she apparently reached into a drawer and pulled out a kitchen knife, stabbing Michael once in the shoulder before running to “hide” in a bathroom, Conlon said.
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“Danielle Redlick did stab Michael Redlick” once in the shoulder, Conlon said, but he claimed that it was in an act of “self-defense” rather than an attack.
A sentencing hearing will take place August 5, according to county records.