An Orlando jury has acquitted a woman of murdering her former stepfather, who became her husband – finding that she acted in self defense after years of abuse.
Danielle Redlick, 46, broke down in tears on Friday afternoon after the verdict was handed down.
The jury began deliberations on Thursday, and on Friday acquitted her of second-degree murder.
She was found guilty of evidence tampering, but not of stabbing to death NBA executive Michael Redlick, 65, in their Winter Park home.
One juror said the state left too much room for reasonable doubt.
‘When you have a history of abuse, and so many other factors, and you can’t say 100 percent because this is someone’s life that is being determined,’ the juror said, according to WESH 2.
‘We can only do the best we can and the jury was happy with the selection.’
Danielle Redlick is seen awaiting the verdict in her second-degree murder trial on Friday
As the Orlando jury delivered their verdict, Redlick broke down in tears
The 46-year-old looked overwhelmed and hugely relieved, clasping her attorney’s hand
Redlick, who met her husband when he dated her mother, beamed after the verdict was annnounced
Michael Redlick, 65, was stabbed to death in his Winter Park home on January 11, 2019
The couple met in the late 1990s, when he began dating her mother, Kathleen Aquino.
Michael and Kathleen married in late 1999 to give her access to his health insurance policy following her breast cancer diagnosis; she died in later that year.
Prior to his death, Redlick, who was the director of external affairs and partnership relations for the DeVos Sport Business Management Program at University of Central Florida, told a witness his wife was ‘crazy – but as long as I hide the steak knives I should be good’.
Danielle claimed that Michael stabbed himself on January 11, 2019, after finding flirty text messages from another man on her phone. She later said he had a heart attack.
She then changed her story, to insist it was self defense, admitting she stabbed him in the shoulder but saying he was strangling him at the time.
Danielle Redlick (left), 46, had been the stepdaughter of Michael Redlick (right), 65, before he married her in the early 2000s
Michael married Danielle’s mother, Kathleen Aquino, in the late 1999 to give her access to his health insurance policy following her breast cancer diagnosis; she died in 1999
The couple’s suburban Winter Park home where the stabbing took place in January 2019
Michael and Danielle met when Michael began dating Danielle’s mother, Kathleen Aquino, for three years. They eventually married after Kathleen died and had children of their own
The pair had been married for 17 years and had two children together, ages 11 and 15.
Images and video from the investigation show the state of the home after Redlick called 911 to report her husband had been stabbed – 11 hours after police say it happened.
They found that she had been on a dating app in the interim.
Police reported seeing red streaks on the floors and blood splatters on the walls of the kitchen, living room area and master bedroom.
Prosecutors said there were signs Redlick tried to clean the scene after officials found bloody towels, a mop and a bucket.
A bloody knife was found on the floor, along with two others in the sink.
An updated autopsy report stated Michael Redlick died of a stab wound to the torso that cut the basilic vein.
The medical examiner told police it would only take five to six minutes for him to bleed out.
In an interview with detectives at an Orlando hospital, Danielle Redlick refused to go into detail about the night her husband died.
But she explained they had got into an argument over a text send to her by another man.
‘He found a text from another man to me,’ she told Winter Park police, in a January 12, 2019 interview at AdventHealth Orlando.
‘We had had some issues and, last year, he basically cheated on me and it was a big, long drawn-out thing.
‘And we finally came around to living together again and possibly trying to work it through, but I think that really wasn’t happening and, in my mind, it was inevitably going to probably separate again.’
Sean Wiggins, state prosecutor, told the jury that the couple’s home after the killing was a ‘horror scene.’
Michael Redlick (right) died at his home after he and his wife had been in an argument over texts sent to her by another man
Redlick is seen in court on June 9 in Orlando
Redlick was found guilty of tampering with a crime scene over allegations she swept the floor. Despite her attempts to clean, however, police still found bloody marks on the floor
Pictures released by the authorities showed a knife on the floor of the kitchen of the house and blood spattered across the floor (circled)
In his opening statement, he told them: ‘The evidence will show that, from the start, this defendant did everything she could to avoid responsibility for her actions.’
Yet Andrew Parnell, one of her public defenders, said in closing arguments that the couple’s relationship was marked by Michael Redlick abusing her.
He said that Michael’s insecurities about his age and needing erectile disfunction treatment led to violence against Danielle: hitting her, holding her down, choking her, looking her in the eyes as he attacked her.
Parnell said she was trapped, pinned down, smothered, thinking she was going to die in her kitchen at the hands of her of own husband.
Outside court on Friday, he was asked how Danielle was feeling.
She will be sentenced for evidence tampering on August 2.
‘Her reaction? Happy again to be able to go home,’ Parnell said. ‘Very happy to be able to go home.’