Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darlie Routier: Doting Mother/Deadly Mother

The Trial Begins

Darlie Routier being transported to court
Darlie Routier being transported to court

Eyes and ears of the world were on Kerrville, Texas. Attests Barbara Davis' Precious Angels: "On Monday morning (January 6,1997) crowds descended on the stately but tiny courthouse, buffeted by fierce winter winds...Visitors to the courthouse were subjected to rigorous security. Each had to pass through a metal-detector gate and hand over purses and briefcases to be searched...No newspapers, cameras or tape recorders were allowed."

The district attorney's office, being relentless, had decided to concentrate its initial armament against Darlie on the death of only one of her boys, Damon. Holding the capital murder indictment on Devon's death in limbo, they could use it as second-line support should the woman be acquitted or receive a life sentence.

 When the indictment was recited first degree murder in the death of Damon Christian Routier Darlie stood facing the judge. Shouldered by her lawyer, Doug Mulder, she pleaded Not Guilty.

Curtain up on the long-awaited trial.

Darlie stands to answer Not Guilty in court
Darlie stands to answer Not Guilty in court

Chief Prosecutor Greg Davis' opening remarks thundered, "The evidence will show you, ladies and gentlemen, that Darlie Routier is a self-centered, materialistic woman cold enough to murder two precious children..." He vowed to prove how the facts of the case as found by experts did not match the mother's explanation of what happened in her home the night of the brutal killings.

Defense Attorney Mulder, in turn, painted Darlie as a caring mother who, like any other housewife, suffered personal problems and concerns. She was, he said, caught up in a maelstrom of fate. "And the State wants you to believe she became a psychotic killer in the blink of an eye?" he asked. "Well, folks, that's just absurd!"

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