Trial Begins for Woman Accused of Murdering Husband — Who'd Once Been Her Stepfather — with Kitchen Knife

Danielle Redlick, 47, has been charged with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the death of her husband, Michael Redlick

Photo: UCF; Orange County Jail

Opening statements began Thursday morning in the murder trial of Danielle Redlick, a Florida woman who is accused of stabbing her husband to death in 2019.

Redlick, 47, has been charged with second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence in connection with the death of Michael Redlick. Prosecutors allege that after Danielle Redlick stabbed him to death, she waited 11 hours to call for help, during which time she allegedly swiped through a dating app.

Michael Redlick was an executive for the University of Central Florida, and had previously worked in administrative sales for the Memphis Grizzlies NBA basketball team. He had once been married to Danielle's mother, Cathy — although the marriage was more of a financial arrangement than a love connection, PEOPLE previously reported. Friends told authorities that he allegedly married her because she was dying of cancer and he wanted her to have better medical coverage.

After Cathy died in 1999, Michael Redlick fell in love with Danielle. They were married for 17 years before his death, PEOPLE previously reported.

It's unclear what happened on January 11, 2019 — but according to televised clips of the opening statements, both the prosecution and defense agree that Danielle Redlick stabbed her husband. They disagree on what led up to the fatal altercation.

In court on Thursday, prosecutor Sean Wiggins said that Danielle Redlick was looking for a way out of her marriage. "She was not interested in a life with Mr. Redlick," Wiggins told the jury. "She was never going to make the relationship work. She was done."

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But the defense alleges that Danielle was just trying to protect herself.

"Danielle Redlick did stab Michael Redlick," her defense attorney, Catherline Conlon, told jurors. "She had no choice but to defend her life. You'll hear about a violent attack in the kitchen. Danielle reacted in confusion, despair and trauma."

Danielle claims that her husband had tried to choke and suffocate her during a fight over flirtatious text messages she had exchanged with another man.

Danielle allegedly told police that during the argument, Michael snatched a McDonalds hamburger that she was eating, took a bite, and spat it in her face. She said that she grabbed a kitchen knife to defend herself, and that he grabbed it from her and stabbed himself. She told the 911 operator that she had barricaded herself in the bedroom.

The six-member jury was empaneled on Thursday morning. The trial is expected to last into next week.

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