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Judge in Redwine trial reports mild COVID-like symptoms, temporarily suspends hearings

Jury selection to resume Monday if test results are negative
District Court Judge Jeffrey Wilson said he woke up Thursday morning with suspected COVID-19 symptoms. The trial for Mark Redwine is suspended until test results come back.

Mark Redwine’s trial has been temporarily suspended after the judge overseeing the case said he woke up Thursday morning with mild COVID-19 symptoms and is now awaiting test results before being able to resume court proceedings.

District Judge Jeffrey Wilson said at a court hearing Thursday that he could not smell or taste certain things Thursday morning.

“As the morning progressed, my sense of taste and smell have returned completely,” Wilson said. “(I have) no symptoms at present.”

Wilson said he was tested via nasal swab Thursday morning, the results of which should be available Saturday. He also took a blood test, which came back Thursday afternoon showing a negative result.

According to procedures put in place to hold the trial during the pandemic, Wilson said court proceedings will be suspended until the nasal swab test comes back.

If both tests come back negative, the trial will resume as planned, though opening statements, which were scheduled for Monday, will have to be pushed back a few days to complete jury selection.

If the nasal swab test comes back positive, Wilson said he will declare a mistrial, effectively canceling the trial.

Already delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Redwine’s trial is in its sixth day.

In recent weeks, Redwine’s defense attorneys pushed to cancel the trial until after the pandemic, arguing that, given the number of witnesses, jurors and attorneys required to be in court, it would be too unsafe.

Wilson repeatedly denied the requests, saying protocols put in place created a safe enough environment to hold the trial.

“This is a trial I’ve decided can’t wait until sometime in the future when the COVID-19 pandemic is gone,” Wilson told the potential jury pool last week. “The trial needs to occur.”

Redwine was arrested in July 2017 for allegedly killing his 13-year-old son, Dylan, in 2012. Ever since, he has been in custody at the La Plata County Jail awaiting trial.

Numerous postponements and delays have pushed back the trial over the years.


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