A federal judge in Texas denied a prosecution request to dismiss Darlie Routier’s new trial request without further investigation. He has urged attorneys on both sides to go forward with DNA testing at the state level. Darlie Routier has been on death row since 1996 after two of her three sons were found dead in the home the family lived in. She and two of her sons, Devon, 6, and Damon, 5, were sleeping downstairs while her other son, Drake, a newborn, was sleeping upstairs with her husband, Darin, on June 6, 1996. Routier maintained an intruder entered the home, killed her sons and seriously injured her with several knife wounds. Police and prosecutors believed that Routier killed her sons and stabbed herself. Routier was arrested and convicted. She was sentenced to death and has been fighting her conviction for almost 20 years.
The case moved through Texas state courts and is now in the U.S. District Court in San Antonio. Routier’s lawyers, in a 58-page motion, have raised several issues challenging the state’s theory on the case including, the handling of evidence and inadequate assistance of defense counsel at the trial level. The appellate lawyers argue that her defense attorneys did not effectively challenge the prosecution’s motive that Routier murdered her sons for financial reasons and then tried to make it look like an intruder committed the crime.
The federal review has been on hold for 6 years, so that DNA tests can be done. Some tests have been completed and Routier’s defense believes it supports Routier’s claims of innocence. Other tests remain including a bloody fingerprint, a bloody sock found outside the home, and Routier’s nightgown. The judge ordered that the remaining DNA testing begin by June 30th of this year and that he receive status reports every 180 days after that date.
WATCH: On Death Row II: Darlie Routier - Filmmaker Werner Herzog explores a crime with no discernible motive. In 1996, two of Darlie Routier’s young sons were brutally stabbed to death in Texas. Just seven months later, the once doting mother was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection. Through compelling testimonies from investigators and Routier’s family members, Herzog offers an unflinching look at this heinous crime.