Jury selection begins in a murder case

A judge excused half of the potential jurors questioned Monday for the murder trial of Danielle Redlick, the Winter Park woman accused of fatally stabbing her husband, a prominent University of Central Florida faculty member.

Redlick, 48, is charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of Michael Redlick, 65, whose body was found at the couple’s Temple Drive home on January 12, 2019.

Lawyers for Redlick, who pleaded not guilty, said she was acting in self-defense after her husband tried to strangle her. But authorities say the nature of his injuries and his behavior afterwards — cleaning up the murder scene, checking messages on a dating app and researching suicide, all while waiting hours to call the police — show otherwise.

Circuit Judge Tanya Davis Wilson told a panel of 50 potential jurors the trial could last up to two and a half weeks at the Orange County Courthouse. The trial will require six jurors and several alternates, said Julio Semino, court administration spokesman for the Ninth Judicial Circuit.

Most of the 25 potential jurors dismissed were excused due to the financial difficulties of serving on a jury.

Outside of juror attendance, the judge told lawyers she was not inclined to fire potential jurors who said their employers were understaffed – an explanation she said she heard more frequently from juries.

Potential jurors in the Redlick trial echoed the same sentiment on Monday, including a man who said he was concerned about the safety of his job because his boss was pressuring him not to miss work. Assistant State’s Attorney Sean Burton Wiggins told the panel that it was illegal for employers to take adverse action against their employees because of jury duty.

“Your employer couldn’t fire you or demote you,” he said.

Another juror, however, was dismissed after saying he was an independent contractor for a delivery company who told him they would hire someone else to do the job.

Of the 25 potential jurors who remained after those excused for hardship were dismissed, only eight said they had been exposed to media coverage of the trial. Few people knew the details of Redlick’s case.

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“I understand there may have been a domestic violence issue where a wife retaliated against her husband,” one woman said. “…I overheard a conversation on the news about a woman attacking her husband and not calling 911.”

The woman, however, told the judge that she had not formed an opinion on the case and that she could reach a verdict solely on the basis of the evidence presented in court.

Davis Wilson told the remaining 25 jurors to return Wednesday. The judge and lawyers will interview a new panel of 50 potential jurors on Tuesday.

When Redlick called 911 on the morning of January 12, 2019, she first told a dispatcher that her husband had suffered a heart attack. Then her story changed, with Redlick claiming that Michael Redlick stabbed himself with a kitchen knife during an argument over infidelity.

But investigators determined Michael Redlick’s injuries were inconsistent with self-inflicted injuries and found his wife attempted to clean up the crime scene before calling for help 11 hours later.

Jury selection will continue Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

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Martin E. Berry