The Big Oak Flat man accused of shooting his neighbor to death will stand trial following a preliminary hearing and his rejection of a plea deal Friday morning in Tuolumne County Superior Court.
Tuolumne County District Attorney Laura Krieg said two Tuolumne County Sheriff’s deputies and one detective testified, and each of them recounted the details of the investigation into the Sept. 25 murder of Marc John DeJong, 48, of Big Oak Flat, in a shed on the Black Road property.
Elton Redick,42, was charged with first degree premeditated murder and a special allegation enhancement for the use of a firearm in the commission of the murder; and the charge of kidnapping a victim and another special allegation enhancement for the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime.
If convicted, Redick faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison for the murder charge and special allegation enhancement, and 18 years for the kidnapping charge with the special allegation enhancement.
Deputy Michael O’Brien, Deputy Robert Spears and Detective Daniel Newman testified during the hour-and-half-long preliminary hearing. Redick’s attorney, Scott Gross, did not call witnesses.
When the first deputies arrived at the Black Road property, responding to a possible shooting report, a female witness told them Redick had killed DeJong.
The deputies searched the property, filled with travel trailers, sheds and scattered debris, and eventually came to a locked shed with a blanket over a window.
One deputy used the butt of his shotgun to break the window and pull away the shade. From there, he saw legs lying on the floor and a blanket covering a torso.
The deputy called out, but no one responded.
As the deputies kicked open the padlocked door, they saw a man, a blanket covering his face, in a pool of blood. Two .25 caliber shell casings were found on the ground near the body.
The deputies identified the man as DeJong, and determined he had died from two gunshot wounds to the head and face.
The witness told deputies that she and DeJong had been cleaning the shed about 6:45 a.m. when they heard another woman on the property wake up screaming.
DeJong yelled out to the screaming woman. Redick misinterpreted what DeJong said, thinking DeJong was intimately involved with the witness, with whom Redick was maintaining an ongoing sexual relationship.
Redick waited outside the shed with a firearm before bursting in and shooting DeJong twice, in the head and face, the deputies said.
Redick, still holding the firearm, pleaded for the witness to come with him, but when she refused, he locked her in a travel trailer for more than two hours.
Redick was arrested on Sept. 26 outside the Claim Jumper Outpost in Big Oak Flat, less than a quarter-mile away from the site of the murder.
The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office had issued an alert for Redick, who was then known to use an alias, Christopher Reed.
Redick was seen walking on Highway 120 by a passing deputy and attempted to hide at the Claim Jumper Outpost before he was captured.
After his capture, Redick admitted to deputies that he shot DeJong and held the woman hostage, Newman said.
An arraignment on the information and a trial-setting was set for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 11 in Department 1.