Darlie Routier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Darlie Routier
Born Darlie Lynn Peck
(1970-01-04) January 4, 1970 (age 44)
Altoona, Pennsylvania
Criminal penalty
Death by lethal injection
Criminal status On death row
Conviction(s) Capital murder, 1 count

Darlie Lynn Routier (born January 4, 1970) is an American woman from Rowlett, Texas, who was convicted of murdering her 5-year-old son, Damon. As of 2014, Routier is on death row awaiting execution by lethal injection.

Murder[edit]

On June 6, 1996, at 2:31 am Rowlett 911 received a call from 5801 Eagle Dr, the home of Darlie Routier, a lavish two-story house in an affluent suburb. Routier told the operator that her home had been broken into and that an intruder stabbed two of her sons, Damon (age 5) and Devon (age 6), and attacked her, which she claimed to have slept through. The youngest child, Drake (age 7 months) was asleep upstairs with his father and was unharmed.

During the 911 call, Routier said that she'd found a knife on the floor. She told police she had touched the knife and picked it up saying, "We could have gotten the prints, maybe."[1]

Devon and Damon suffered multiple, brutal wounds leading to their demise shortly after the attack, while Routier showed superficial (possibly self-inflicted) cuts and did not appear particularly upset.

Newscasts appeared of Darlie Routier and other family members holding a birthday party at the children's grave to celebrate posthumously Devon's 7th birthday, just eight days after the murders. Darlie was shown - wearing a shirt and shorts - smiling and laughing as she sprayed Silly String on the graves in celebration of Devon's birthday, singing "Happy Birthday".

Four days later, Darlie Routier was charged with capital murder.

Trial[edit]

Mountain View Unit, where Routier is held

Routier testified that an intruder killed her children but police found inconsistencies between her report and the crime scene evidence and testified to that at trial. The prosecution suggested that Routier murdered her sons because of the family's financial difficulties. Prosecutors described Routier as a pampered, materialistic woman with substantial debt, plummeting credit ratings, and little money in the bank who feared that her lavish lifestyle was about to end. Friends and neighbors testified about mutual cheating by both Routier and her husband and stated she suffered from post-partum depression and looked unhappy and tired.

Crime scene consultant James Cron testified that evidence found suggested the crime scene had been staged. [2]

Attending physicians Dr. Alejandro Santos and Dr. Patrick Dillawn testified and referred to Routier's wounds as superficial. Dr. DiMaio testified that the wound to her neck came within two millimeters of her carotid artery. Blood spatter expert Tom Bevel testified that cast-off blood found on the back of Routier's nightshirt indicated that she had raised the knife over her head as she withdrew it from each boy to stab again.[3]

Routier was convicted of murdering Damon, the younger of the two sons, and on February 1, 1997 was sentenced to death by lethal injection.[4]

Divorce[edit]

In June 2011, Darin Routier filed for divorce. He said that the decision to divorce was mutual and "very difficult," and that he still believes his wife is innocent. He said that they decided on the divorce to move on from the "limbo" they've been in since her arrest and conviction.[5]

Innocence claims[edit]

Defense attorneys allege that errors were made during Routier's trial and the investigation of the murders, especially at the crime scene. The appeals court dismissed these claims,[6] as did the court ruling on Routier's Writ of Habeas Corpus,[7] leaving the ongoing DNA testing as the only legal action active as of May 2014.

In late 2013, exoneree David Camm said he would be working as a case coordinator for Investigating Innocence, a national nonprofit that provides criminal-defense investigations for inmates, and that Routier's would be his first case.[8]

Current status[edit]

In 2008 Routier was granted the right to new DNA tests. Her appeals have been remanded to the state level for improved DNA testing. Once all state-level testing has been completed, the testing ordered by the federal courts will begin. Routier remains incarcerated on death row located in Gatesville, Texas at the Mountain View Unit of the Texas Department Of Criminal Justice. She is assigned Department of Criminal Justice Identification Number 00999220.

On January 29, 2014 Chief Judge of the Western District Fred Biery granted a request from prosecution and defense for the Routier case for further DNA tests vital to the defense to be carried out on a bloody fingerprint found in the house, a bloody sock and Routier's nightgown.[4]

See all[edit]

Forensic Files season 4 episode 1 had this case; the episode title was "Invisible Intruder".

References[edit]

External links[edit]