Danielle Redlick testifies that she didn’t mean to stab her stepfather and husband Michael Redlick

Speaking publicly for the first time since fatally stabbing her husband, Danielle Redlick testified Tuesday morning in Orlando that she never intended to kill Michael Redlick, her partner of nearly two decades and before that her stepfather.

Instead, Danielle said she stabbed her husband in self-defense when he tried to “choke” her at their Florida home on Jan. 11, 2019, with her head pressed against the kitchen counter and his hand cupping her nose and mouth.

Danielle testified that the only way she could escape from her husband’s grasp was to stab him in the shoulder with a kitchen knife, disorienting him enough for her to scoot away.

Danielle initially said in an 911 call that her husband died of a heart attack, before later telling a detective that an arrest report said Michael must have stabbed himself. Now, while she admits to the stabbing, prosecutors trying to convict her of murder don’t believe what happened next.

Assistant prosecutor Sean Wiggins had previously told jurors that Danielle deliberately stabbed Michael and left him for dead on the kitchen floor as she retired to her bedroom, where she scrolled a dating app and deleted phone messages. Then, Wiggins claims, she tried to bleach the scene before calling 911 more than 11 hours later.

Danielle, who broke down in tears at one point, testified Tuesday that she loved her husband and never intended to kill him. She said that after stabbing Michael, she ran and hid in the master bathroom of her $1 million lakefront home in Winter Park and that it never occurred to her that a shoulder stab could be fatal .

When Danielle returned to the kitchen later that night, she said she thought her husband was just “dramatic” as he lay in a pool of blood. She claims the situation became real for her when she called his name and he didn’t answer. She then tried in vain to save him with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, which prompted her to touch his face and then rest her head on his chest. There was no heartbeat. Michael Redlick was dead at 65.

“My heart stopped at that point and I started thinking ‘What the hell’ and I saw the blood,” Danielle said. “I’m looking around for my phone and just looking at it and trying to figure it out and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, did he die?'”

At that point, Danielle said she went into “shock” and started making a “series of really bad decisions.”

Her first mistake, Danielle testified, was not calling 911 right away. She said she was so panicked that she dialed “911-911,” but when the call didn’t get through, she began contemplating suicide instead of calling back. She looked up how to kill yourself by slitting your wrists and tried it, but the thought of your children stopped you.

“I heard something say, ‘Not like that, Danielle, not like that,'” she said. “Your children cannot lose both parents.”

Then, she said, she cried as she lay by her husband’s body, first on the floor and then on a brown chair on which she placed his body until she fell asleep.

Danielle testified that after realizing Michael was dead, she eventually reviewed and deleted phone messages from another man she had been seeing, as well as messages between her and Michael. However, she denied prosecutors’ claims that she also spent time on a dating app.

After Danielle successfully called 911 on the morning of January 12 and the police arrived and found Michael’s body along with blood and cleaning supplies scattered throughout the house, Wiggins told jurors in his opening statement last week that the house resembled a scene from a horror movie.

As well as reminiscing about the stabbing, Danielle also detailed her relationship with Michael – which began when he became her stepfather and married her mother three months before she died from breast cancer. Danielle was 20 years old at the time.

Danielle, now 48, became intimate with her stepfather and husband-to-be before she turned 21 after he asked her for help raising her little sister, then 16, in his home. He often visited Danielle at a bar where she worked and they went to concerts together, Danielle said.

She described the beginning of the relationship as a mostly happy time, despite objections from her family that she was dating her mother’s widower. The couple eventually married and moved into a house on the Mississippi riverbank while Michael served as an executive for the Memphis Grizzlies, an NBA team.

While Danielle painted a mostly positive picture of their early years together, she also said that Michael displayed some abusive tendencies in their relationship from the start and that these have gotten worse over the past decade. The first abuse, she said, happened when she and Michael ran into an ex-boyfriend of hers at a concert in Ohio and had a fight after the show. Michael told her she would have preferred to have come with her former flame, and she quipped back, “At least he’s not Jewish and cheap.” Danielle said Michael then punched her in the face — the first time he physically abused her.

Similar incidents would continue to happen for years, she said, even after the couple’s two children were born. But Danielle said she never left “because there was a lot of good left,” and she knew Michael loved her.

But the abuse worsened as Michael got older, Danielle said. She testified that her sex life slowed down when Michael struggled with erectile dysfunction. After Viagra stopped working for him, she said he started injecting testosterone, which made him stronger and “more attractive,” but also more abusive.

Danielle said that both she and her husband had been unfaithful and that they had moved out and moved in at different places. In 2018, Danielle filed for divorce, but the couple continued to spend time together and Michael managed to avoid receiving the papers, including with her help when she once ignored a process server that came to her doorstep.

As Danielle lay in bed together that afternoon, Michael told her he “loved his wife” and “didn’t want to be with any other woman.”

But all those years of dysfunction, infidelity and abuse culminated on the night of the stabbing, Danielle said. And while she remains heartbroken by the result, she testified that she didn’t feel she overreacted by stabbing her husband as she felt her own life was in danger.

“I obviously didn’t like the end result,” she said. “I never wanted him dead.” Danielle Redlick testifies that she didn’t mean to stab her stepfather and husband Michael Redlick


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