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Dylan Redwine Mistrial Another Delay of Justice for Murdered Boy

Mark Redwine's 2017 booking photo and a family snapshot of the late Dylan Redwine.EXPAND
Mark Redwine's 2017 booking photo and a family snapshot of the late Dylan Redwine.
La Plata County Sheriff's Office/Family photo

Next week will mark eight years since the last time thirteen-year-old Dylan Redwine was seen alive — and the wait for a resolution in this long-running murder mystery isn't over yet. On November 9, the judge overseeing the prosecution of Mark Redwine, Dylan's father, who was arrested in 2017 for killing the boy, declared a mistrial over reports that a defense attorney in the case might have COVID-19.

The claims are viewed with suspicion by supporters of Elaine Hall, Dylan's mother. A post on the Facebook page Dylan Redwine: The Journey to Justice (originally called "Find Missing Dylan Redwine") shared after the ruling reads: "I'm just curious. What happens when we start again, and the 'other' public defender has a symptom? The symptoms range from a scratchy throat to a fever and everything else in between. So we start again.... All of us understand how serious COVID 19 is, we do. If we cancel this trial every time someone has a symptom, we'll be here until 2022. After we begin again, Mark will have symptoms. Any bets? Does anyone realize the pain, agony and financial hardship this has put on this family?"

The latest twist is typical for a case that's been marked by anger and bitterness over a young life that ended far too soon, as documented in years of Westword coverage.

According to the grand jury indictment against Mark, who was arrested on July 22, 2017, in Bellingham, Washington, Dylan was last seen alive on November 18, 2012. That's when he arrived in Colorado via airplane for a court-ordered visit with his father, who was involved in what is described as "an intensely contested custody" dispute with his ex-wife, Hall. After stopping at a Walmart and a McDonald's, Dylan and his father arrived at Mark's home, located at 2343 County Road 500 in Bayfield, a town in La Plata County.

The indictment points out that Mark and Dylan "had argued and fought on their previous visit" and "had not been getting along" leading up to the teen's latest trip to Bayfield. Several witnesses said that Dylan didn't want to stay with his dad, and he sent a text message to a friend asking whether he could room with him on the night of his arrival — a request that Mark nixed. In what appears to have been his final telephone conversation, Dylan made arrangements to visit his pal the next morning.

From the start, Mark was the focus of the search for Dylan, whom he subsequently reported missing — and plenty of damning evidence was found over the course of the inquiry. "Dylan Redwine's blood was found in multiple locations of Mark Redwine's living room, including on the couch, the floor in front of the couch, the corner of the coffee table, on the floor beneath a rug, and a love seat," the indictment states. "DNA testing showed that Dylan Redwine was the source of the blood on the love seat, and could not be eliminated as a contributor to the mixture found in the blood found on the couch, floor in front of the couch, the corner of the coffee table, and the blood found beneath the rug."

The report suggests that the blood was fairly fresh, in all probability, since the house had undergone a major remodel in March 2012, and Dylan had only limited access to the home before that November.

In June 2013, some of Dylan's remains were located "about eight miles up Middle Mountain Road from Mark's house, roughly one mile past the gate, which closes seasonally around November 30 every year, and only 100 yards or so from the road directly off an ATV trail." The indictment adds that "Mark had an ATV in his garage and was very familiar with Middle Mountain Road."

Elaine Hall, Dylan's mother, during a 2013 search for the boy, who was then still missing.
Elaine Hall, Dylan's mother, during a 2013 search for the boy, who was then still missing.
Family photo

A couple of months later, on August 5, a human-remains detection dog went through Mark's house "to determine if the corpse of a deceased human had been present at that location," according to the indictment, and the dog "indicated the presence of cadaver scent in various locations in the home, including the living room and the washing machine."

Nonetheless, Mark evaded arrest — and two more years passed before, on November 1, 2015, hikers stumbled upon Dylan's skull about a mile and a half from the spot on Middle Mountain Road where the other remains jad been spotted. A Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer quoted in the indictment believes it's unlikely that an animal dragged Dylan's body to the previous recovery site, or the skull to the location where it was discovered, implying that a human must have moved them.

Forensic anthropologists determined that Dylan's skull "had injuries consistent with blunt-force trauma," including "two small markings consistent with tool marks from a knife," the indictment continues — and this information reminded investigators of a conversation with Mark reported by Dylan's half-brother, Brandon Redwine, more than two years earlier. Brandon told investigators that Mark "had mentioned blunt-force trauma several times and discussed how investigators would have to find the rest of the body, including the skull, before they could determine if this was the cause of death."

Supplementing physical evidence in the indictment are a number of remarks attributed to Mark. Another ex-wife, Betsy Horvath, said he'd told her "that if he ever had to get rid of a body, he would leave it out in the mountains." During their divorce proceedings, the indictment notes, "Mr. Redwine repeatedly violated the custody agreement and told Ms. Horvath that he would 'kill the kids before he let her have them.'"

Despite the volume of material, Mark's trial didn't get under way until this month. But on November 9, Judge Jeffrey Wilson declared a mistrial following a status conference at which a public defender said one of the other attorneys was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that would require the team to quarantine.

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According to the judge's order, the prosecutor, Christian Champagne, "made allegations concerning recent behavior of one of Mr. Redwine's attorneys and the contents of a telephone call made from the La Plata County Jail. The Court, for the reasons stated on the record and without making any findings as to the veracity of the allegations, finds that even if such allegations are true, the Court has no choice but to grant D-180 and declare a mistrial to ensure that Mr. Redwine has effective assistance of counsel." Wilson has scheduled a setting conference via Webex Events for 11 a.m. Friday, November 13.

A new trial date could be established during that hearing, but considering how many delays have occurred in the case since 2012, there's no guarantee.

Click to read the Mark Redwine indictment. In addition, here are some past Westword posts about Dylan Redwine:

Dylan Redwine disappearance: Dad surfaces as investigators conclude boy didn't run away
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2012 AT 6:11 A.M.

Dylan Redwine search: New photos released, parents take polygraphs
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 2012 AT 9:41 A.M.

Dylan Redwine now subject of homicide investigation, family at war
FRIDAY, JUNE 28, 2013 AT 5:52 A.M.

Dylan Redwine investigation: Justice for DYLAN page doesn't want Facebook fight
WEDNESDAY, JULY 3, 2013 AT 6:03AM

Dylan Redwine investigation: Latest search of dad's house leads to more speculation
THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2013 AT 6:37 A.M.

Dylan Redwine homicide: Is just-hospitalized dad Mark Redwine being stalked by haters?
MONDAY, MAY 5, 2014 AT 6:51 A.M.

Dylan Redwine Parents' Dueling Lawsuits Tossed, No Justice in Sight for Slain Boy
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2016 AT 5:45 A.M.

Why Mark Redwine Was Finally Busted for Son Dylan's Murder After Nearly Five Years
MONDAY, JULY 24, 2017 AT 6:54AM

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