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.

PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

Comments
  1. val says:

    I really don’t think she did it. I wish Kathleen Zellner would look at this case. I feel so bad for her and her family

    • True Crime buff says:

      I have followed this case too from the beginning and I also considered the intruder theory. Sadly though there is only one person who killed those kids and that was Darlie. I am glad that the judge ordered new DNA however I am sure it will only confirm they have the right person in jail.

  2. eve ybarra says:

    Someone needs to read the case of Julie Harper, who was also convicted of killing her 10 year old son. The cases are almost identical. The child was stabbed with a knife from the home and the mother was also attacked. She was later released from jail after the real killer confessed.

  3. Kathy says:

    This case has bothered me since I first saw it. I do not believe she killed her boys! I never have! How the prosecutors can be so convinced is insane! They come off as being jealous of her and her lifestyle when God knows they live at a higher financial level than she did. God bless her. I don’t know how she has handled it.

  4. jenlalen says:

    I have followed this case throughout the years and I firmly believe that Darlie did not kill her children. Killing children does not resolve financial problems.

  5. bfc2360 says:

    I have followed this case throughout the years and I am firmly convinced that she did not kill the children. Killing two children does not resolve financial problems.

  6. Susan Smith says:

    Did any one look into maybe Tommy Lynn Sells was the one who killed the two boys? They put that one mother in prison for Allegedly killing her son, them found out Sells did it ?!?!

    • I have wondered about this too. From what I could find, he spent from June 1993 to May 1997 in a West Virginia prison. The Routier children were killed in 1996. I’m hoping the DNA testing will shed more light on the case.

    • Nancy says:

      This case needs to be retried outside the state of Texas. Never have I heard of a worse miscarriage of justice than this. There are an amazing array of possible suspects, look at all the known seriel killers that were roaming around at the time, many of whom left no clues until their confessions. No motive either except they liked to kill. The so called law should be on trial for their incompetence. That prejudicial tape should never have been allowed to be played for the jury to see. It proved nothing. Obviously her attorneys were well less than competent. What a travesty!

    • Patrick King says:

      Yes. Sells was in Mount Olive Correctional facility in West Virginia on June 6, 1996 for the knife assault on Fabienne Witherspoon. However Jonathan Scott Graham was in Texas at the time and he was not arrested until 2004. Look him up in your Serial Killers A-Z… or just google him.

Join the Discussion

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s