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.




  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

    • True Crime buff says:

      Michael the culprit was found and is on death row where she belongs. The DNA test will just confirm this.

  4. 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.

    • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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