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. Ann Smith says:

    It is not for the defense to prove innocence. The prosecution must prove guilt. The prosecutor keeps saying that the defense has not come up with any new information. It also does not matter how Darlee behaved at the grave site of her children. No one even knows for sure how they would react. When they put my dog to sleep, I was shocked how I reacted. Did she ever do a lie detector test?

    Like

    • Natalie says:

      Darlie has been in the Appellate process since the actual guilt/innocence phase of the murder trial ended February 4, 1997 with the jury finding Darlie Routier guilty of murdering Damon. Regardless of what anyone thinks, the prosecution did their job of proving guilt. Now it’s up to Darlie and her Appellate team to provide a preponderance of evidence that an intruder murdered Damon (and Devon) in order to receive a new trial/acquittal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jezmyopinion says:

        Natalie, the latest DNA came back June 2015 and found zero evidence of an intruder. Again. She’s definitely guilty. I agree that the prosecution did their job.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Charles reinhart says:

    A jail gaurd on Dr said darlie only turns on the water works for media,and further that she shows her bare body to anyone to look at,and that she’s a shrewd and seasoned inmate,so that is consistent with her behavior from day one,now that is proven and not just prejudised,she’s guilty and then some

    Liked by 1 person

  3. True Crime buff says:

    I wonder what will happen after the DNA test comes back will they set an execution date? I am glad they are doing this just to confirm everything however there are those who will never believe she did. I am not one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael O'Donnell says:

    I have watched many US crime documentaries, and the conclusion is similar every time.A culprit must be found, whether they are obviously innocent doesn’t matter. American justice would rather kill an innocent person than admit the system is fallible. What’s the latest count of innocent people released after decades in jail when their appeal is handled by a competent attorney? The numbers must be into the thousands by now.

    Like

  5. 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

    Like

    • 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.

      Liked by 1 person

      • jezmyopinion says:

        It did just confirm her guilt. Have you read the latest DNA results that her supporters want sealed? No intruder at all. https://youcouldbewrong.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/dr-06262015103716.pdf

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lula Jones says:

          First of all the DNA results say that Darlie/ or a parental relative of Darlie can not be ruled out as the contributor of the blood found on the shirt. That is to say it is either Darin or one of the children’s blood. It states that the bloody fingerprint is still unidentified. So it does NOT match Darlie’s fingerprint. The blood that created the fingerprint is either Darlie’s or the children’s. But NOT the fingerprint itself. There is no way that this lady sliced her own neck within 2mm of cutting her artery. Although the injury to the artery was superficial, the wound itself was NOT. There would be hesitation marks if she had cut her neck. When is the last time you heard of a person committing suicide in such a manner? The bruising on her arms proves there was a very violent altercation.Another point to make out, why was the blood concentrated on the BACK of the shirt. Yes blood will splatter and drip, but not to this extreme, over the back. Try it, take a watermelon outside, get on your knees and violently stab it! Go into the house, take the shirt off, how much watermelon and juice is on the BACK of your shirt. The intruder had blood on his front, (remember he killed the kids first) when he attacked darlie she struggled at one point even trying to run, he grabbed her, this is how the blood got on the back of her shirt in such concentration. When you look at the shirt, it is not even splatter but more transfer(think of rubber stamping.) I believe that the hubby’s scam went horrible wrong..or did it. For all we know he could have planned this thinking she would have been put to death sooner, thus allowing him to case in the insurance policy. How did blood get on the bottom of his sock, if he was asleep.Either way there is enough reasonable doubt to release this woman. The state of TEXAS should be ashamed of themselves. The juror that I saw on CNN stated that the jurors did not see the memorial before the silly string incident, nor did they see the pictures of the bruises. The pictures were available but not pushed to the forefront like they should have been.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Lula Jones says:

            First of all the DNA results say that Darlie/ or a parental relative of Darlie can not be ruled out as the contributor of the blood found on the shirt. That is to say it is either Darlie or one of the children’s blood. It states that the bloody fingerprint is still unidentified. So it does NOT match Darlie’s fingerprint. The blood that created the fingerprint is either Darlie’s or the children’s. But NOT the fingerprint itself. There is no way that this lady sliced her own neck within 2mm of cutting her artery. Although the injury to the artery was superficial, the wound itself was NOT. There would be hesitation marks if she had cut her neck. When is the last time you heard of a person committing suicide in such a manner? The bruising on her arms proves there was a very violent altercation.Another point to make out, why was the blood concentrated on the BACK of the shirt. Yes blood will splatter and drip, but not to this extreme, over the back. Try it, take a watermelon outside, get on your knees and violently stab it! Go into the house, take the shirt off, how much watermelon and juice is on the BACK of your shirt. The intruder had blood on his front, (remember he killed the kids first) when he attacked darlie she struggled at one point even trying to run, he grabbed her, this is how the blood got on the back of her shirt in such concentration. When you look at the shirt, it is not even splatter but more transfer(think of rubber stamping.) I believe that the hubby’s scam went horrible wrong..or did it. For all we know he could have planned this thinking she would have been put to death sooner, thus allowing him to case in the insurance policy. How did blood get on the bottom of his sock, if he was asleep.Either way there is enough reasonable doubt to release this woman. The state of TEXAS should be ashamed of themselves. The juror that I saw on CNN stated that the jurors did not see the memorial before the silly string incident, nor did they see the pictures of the bruises. The pictures were available but not pushed to the forefront like they should have been.

            Like

          • jezmyopinion says:

            Darlie has NOT been ruled out on the fingerprint. It is the size of a female and with a similar whorl pattern. The robbery scam wasn’t brought up until the end of her trial to deflect her guilt. There is no video of the allegedly solemn memorial, just the video of the macabre scene that she called the press to see. Darlie did it and Darlie will die for it in a more humane manner than she allowed Damon and Devon.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Henderson says:

      From the very day this horrible crime happened, I never believed Darly commited this crime. I always thought the Husband did it. That’s why I was shocked, and still cannot understand why the husbands sock was found a block away from the house…..with blood on it. ThAT QUESTION STILL HAS NOT BEEN ANSWERED. Not the mention the wounds on the woman, any fool could see, someone wanted all three of them dead.

      Like

      • jezmyopinion says:

        Darlie said she saw who it was and it was not Darin. Also, Darlie wouldn’t sit on the row and let Darin be free to remarry and build that massive ranch now that he’s back in the money. He also has had nothing to do with Darlie for years now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lyn says:

        Drop the knife, but carry a sock with you. Doesn’t make sense. She took a polygraph, but the results were never shared by her lawyers. What’s that tell you?????

        Liked by 2 people

  6. True Crime buff says:

    I am glad that the judge ordered new DNA testing. That way we will know for sure that no intruder killed those kids and the person responsible for this horrible crime is and will remain on death row.

    Like

  7. 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.

    Like

    • chuck says:

      I think almost all of us wanted someone else to have done it because we don’t like to think that anyone could be that bad. I too wanted some new evidence to show someone else did it. There are always things that don’t make sense in a murder case simply because we don’t think like cold blooded killers. When I saw the letter she wrote to the boys I thought she must have planned suicide. Now I have to be completely honest and say that if she didn’t do it, some new evidence should’ve been discovered by now. I also thought that Daryn probably had something to do with it. Now, the same thing is true. If he did have anything to do with it something should’ve pointed to him by now. I now see her differently. When she was younger she was really nice looking. I was with a trophy woman for about 10 years. She wasn’t a murderer, but she put herself first in everything, even ahead of her kids. How I feel about her now compared to how I felt when I met her is completely different. I think that if I was in jail, and not guilty, I would take a polygraph. Even though it isn’t evidence, I might get some help in the court of public opinion. Well, sad as it is, I think she did it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 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.

    Like

    • Karen Henderson says:

      Kathy, it has bothered me to this day. Why, and how, did a jury come to this decision. Several jurors claimed that the pictures of her serious injuries, were never shown during trial. That alone is reason enough to grant Darly a new trial. We will continue to pray, and be sure, that one day the whole truth will be revealed

      Like

      • jezmyopinion says:

        Karen, the jurors were shown all of the pictures. That is one of many myths of this case. The lastest DNA results from June show zero evidence of an intruder. It all points back to Darlie.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. 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.

    Like

  10. 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.

    Like

  11. 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 ?!?!

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

    • 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!

      Like

    • 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.

      Like

    • April says:

      Yes, Sells was in prison at the time of the Routier murders. There was a conspiracy going on to convict Darlie at all costs, the lead investigator actually plead the 5th in the trial. The police seargents son had been committing burglaries in the Routier neighborhood at the time, and he drove the same type of car as the one seen in the Routier driveway the night of the murders.

      Like

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