‘I was scared:’ Woman accused in UCF executive’s death details what led up to fatal stabbing

Danielle Redlick faces 2nd-degree murder charge

The woman accused in the death of a UCF executive, who was fatally stabbed in 2019, took the stand in her murder trial Tuesday afternoon after the state rested its case.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The woman accused in the death of a UCF executive, who was fatally stabbed in 2019, took the stand in her murder trial Tuesday afternoon after the state rested its case.

Danielle Redlick, 48, faces charges of second-degree murder and tampering with evidence in the death of 65-year-old Michael Redlick, who worked as director of external affairs and partnership relations at the University of Central Florida’s DeVos Sport Business Management Graduate Program.

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The defense called Danielle Redlick to the stand as their first witness. She gave details of her relationship with her husband, with her attorney asking right away if she stabbed him. She said she stabbed her husband because he had her pinned down and was suffocating her. She said it was not the first time her husband did something to her and called it “one of the worst.”

“I couldn’t breathe and he had me pinned down,” she said. “Well, I was scared. I was just in fear for my life. I snapped and I could die.”

During her testimony, Danielle Redlick said she met Michael Redlick through her mother because he was her stepfather. She said Michael Redlick and her mother were together a couple years before being married for about six months.

She said when her mother died of breast cancer, her relationship with Michael Redlick changed and turned romantic, but she said after a few years he started to get violent.

“At times it would escalate, I started to notice that he would get physical when he was angry, very angry, if he drank too much,” Danielle Redlick said.

Prosecutors called to the stand two final witnesses — a janitor and medical examiner — before resting their case in the trial earlier Tuesday.

Dr. Sara Zydowicz, medical examiner, took the stand first Tuesday morning and went over autopsy photos that were brought into evidence. She said a stab wound between two ribs punctured Michael Redlick’s lung and hit a main vein that brings blood from the lower body to the heart. She said someone with this wound would be able to walk around about 15-20 minutes before losing consciousness.

She said his cause of death was a stab wound.

The final witness called to the stand was an Orange County jail employee who monitors calls at the jail. The employee described the phone system before the court played a call the employee says Danielle Redlick made while in jail.

Several witnesses took the stand Monday, including the 18-year-old daughter of the couple. Jadyn Redlick testified for nearly an hour and told jurors she last saw her father shortly before his death, saying he apologized for an argument the couple had the night before.

Prosecutors are planning to call their finals witnesses Tuesday morning in the murder trial of a woman accused in the death of a UCF executive, who was fatally stabbed in 2019.

She said her father moved out of the family’s home around April 2018 and moved back in at about October of the same year. She added that her father was upset about the family not living together during his time away.

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However, Jadyn Redlick said on Jan. 10 — the day before Michael Redlick’s death — her mother warned her that there was an issue.

“My mother told me, I believe it was the day before he passed away, that she and my dad had been arguing that he found a message on her phone from another man and that things might be off when he gets home from work,” she said.

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About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.