Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg announced today that Elton Redick, 43, of Big Oak Flat, was convicted by a jury yesterday before Judge James Boscoe of the following counts and special allegations: First Degree Murder with a special allegation that he discharged a firearm causing death; and Kidnapping with a special allegation that he used a firearm during the commission of that offense. District Attorney Laura Krieg prosecuted the case for the People.
On September 25, 2017, at approximately 10:40 a.m., Deputy O’Brien from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to a property on Black Road in Big Oak Flat for a report that an ambulance was needed. When Deputy O’Brien arrived, he saw a female walking towards his patrol car. He contacted the female, later identified as Bonnie Palmer, and noted that she appeared scared and in shock. Ms. Palmer relayed that she had witnessed Elton Redick shoot Marc DeJong at near point blank range and Redick had then taken her hostage. Additional deputies arrived and located the body of Marc DeJong in a locked shed on the property. Deputies determined that Mr. DeJong was deceased and appeared to have suffered at least one gunshot wound to the head.
Deputies searched the property but did not locate the suspect at that time. The following day, the suspect was seen at the Claim Jumper Mini Mart by Sergeant Greg Rogers. Mr. Redick was subsequently found hiding under a building near the Claim Jumper and was placed under arrest. Detective Daniel Newman of the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office interviewed Elton Redick on September 26, 2017. Mr. Redick confessed to shooting Marc DeJong twice and also to kidnapping Bonnie Palmer. The murder weapon, a .25 caliber semi-automatic, was located in a thicket of blackberry bushes near the property where Palmer told deputies she had seen Redick toss it.
At the trial, the prosecution called 7 witnesses including Bonnie Palmer, and introduced 48 exhibits, containing several photographs from the scene and the video recorded interview of Redick. The defense did not call any witnesses. In summary, the defense argued that Redick should be convicted of voluntary manslaughter under the theory that he acted out of heat of passion and killed DeJong after hearing DeJong yell out a statement that morning that Redick interpreted and believed showed that DeJong and Palmer were engaged in a sexual encounter. District Attorney Laura Krieg argued that all the evidence showed that Redick had acted willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation and that the jury should find the murder to be in the first degree. Ms. Krieg further argued that Redick had kidnapped Palmer and detained her by locking her inside a trailer with him for approximately three hours while armed with a gun.
After a four day trial the jury took less than an hour to return the verdicts. The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank the members of the jury for their careful attention to the case and their thoughtful deliberations. A special thank you also goes to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies and detectives for their hard work in investigating the case. Mr. Redick is due to be sentenced on January 15, 2019 in Department Two of the Tuolumne County Superior Court. He faces up to 18 years plus 50 years to life in prison.
For more information contact: Laura Krieg, District Attorney, 209-588-5450.