Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Darlie Routier: Doting Mother/Deadly Mother

But: Is Darlie Innocent?

In all fairness, Darlie Lynn Routier, despite some extremely damaging evidence,  may be innocent, say many. A special televised episode of 20/20, entitled "Her Flesh and Blood," which aired on February 3, 2000, examined and updated the Routier case materials and found, among other things, that the jury may not have been shown photographs of bruises on Darlie's arms (which strongly indicated she fought off an intruder) nor the complete transcript of the court proceedings from which to make a final verdict. Indeed, the transcript that they did review contained, upon latter examination, 33,000 errors and omissions. As well, the audio tapes they heard were incomplete.

One juror came forth to admit he was peer-pressured into a guilty vote. On the televised program, he claimed he never saw the above-mentioned photos nor was the jury shown the police surveillance version of Devon's graveside birthday party that showed Darlie and her family sincerely grieving over the children.

Barbara Davis, who wrote Precious Angels, and who once believed in Darlie's guilt, has changed her mind since reviewing these latest developments as well as the discovery that there was a latent, bloody fingerprint found on the Routier kitchen counter. According to two New York City police fingerprint experts, the print did not match Darlie nor Darin and, therefore, lends a new credence to the intruder theory.

On July 25, 2001, Holly Becka of the Dallas Morning News reported that Darlie's lawyers filed an appeal for her charging conflict of interest and 13 claims of trial errors: The appeal says that "she deserves a new trial because the judge didn't properly handle her lead defense counsel's conflict of interest in representing the only other suspect in the crime -- her husband." Her appeal doesn't implicate Darin Routier as the culprit but notes that inconsistencies in Darin's testimony could have prevented her counsel from correctly presenting information to the jury.

In early June of 2002, Dr. Richard Jantz, a fingerprint expert, indicated that the unidentified bloody fingerprint left at the crime scene is "consistent with an adult" rather than a child. This testimony supports Darlie Routier's claim that an intruder was present in the house at the time of the murders.

Later that month, Holly Becka of the Dallas Morning News reported that "Darin Routier asked his father-in-law (Robbie Gene Kee) whether he knew anyone who would burglarize his home as part of an insurance scam months before his sons were killed...Ms. Routier's family fears that Mr. Routier mentioned the plot to others, who broke in on their own. They say they think this is possibly why an intruder targeted the home." In fact, neighbors saw a black car watching the house before the Routier boys were killed.

In July, 2002, Darlie's lawyers argued that prosecutors should turn over evidence for new forensic tests. One item requested was the nightgown Darlie had on at the time of the murders. Her lawyers would like to conduct tests that they hope will indicate that her wounds were not self-inflicted.  Defense lawyers also want to test the murder knife, the window screen and carpet samples.

Also, at this time, Darin Routier admitted that he had looked for someone to burglarize the family home to benefit from an insurance scam, but that he planned to have the burglary occur when the family was not at home.

The court may require up to 6 months to formulate its reply to Darlie Routier's request.

In the meantime, she sits on Texas' death row, waiting.

Is she one of the most heartless criminals in the state's history or a victim of an overly-aggressive prosecution?

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