Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Notable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to Present

Darlie Routier Trial: 1997 - A House Stained By Blood, Deadly Or Doting Mother?

boys death murder sons

Defendant: Darlie Lynn Routier
Crime Charged: Murder
Chief Defense Lawyer: Doug Mulder
Chief Prosecutor: Greg Davis
Judge: Mark Tolle
Place: Kerrville, Texas
Dates of Trial: January 6-February 1, 1997
Verdict: Guilty
Sentence: Death

SIGNIFICANCE: Young mother Darlie Routier did the unthinkable: she murdered her two sons in cold blood. This grizzly capital murder case, built on detailed, abundant and damning circumstantial evidence, continues to roil emotions, generate national publicity and raise lingering doubts of guilt. Recent findings may lead to a new trial. Meanwhile, Routier awaits death by lethal injection in a Dallas prison. She is one of only a handful of women on America's death row.

Why would a mother savagely murder her own flesh and blood? The prosecution in the murder trial of Darlie Routier had a simple explanation: Here was an immature, materialistic, manipulating young woman with low selfesteem who saw her lavish lifestyle slipping away. She not only blamed her two young sons for the family's deteriorating economic state, she saw their deaths as a means to turn things around.

So in the middle of the night of June 6, 1996, Routier (pronounced "Rueteer"), 27, took a butcher knife from the kitchen of their grand, Georgian-design home in a fashionable Rowlett, Texas neighborhood. She tiptoed into the den where sons Devon, 6, and Damon, 5, lay sleeping after watching television late with mom. Then she repeatedly stabbed the boys, tearing into their chests, lungs, and abdomens. Devon died immediately. Damon lay on the floor, painfully struggling for air. Husband Darin, 28, and six-month-old son Drake, asleep upstairs, heard nothing.

Records show that Darlie called Rowlett police at 2:31 A.M., screaming that someone had broken into her home and stabbed her and her children. "My boys are dying!" she said. "My boys are dying!"

David Brock Impeachment Trial: 2000 - The Chief Justice Impeached, Testimony On Article I, Testimony On Article 11, Testimony On Article Iv - Testimony on Article Ill [next] [back] Inc. v. America Online Cyber Promotions Inc. - Significance, Private Restriction On Internet Speech Is Valid, Impact, Related Cases, Further Readings

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 1 year ago

How on earth does a mother sleep through her children being brutally murdered when they are a mere few feet away from her, yet claims that her infant son wakes her by simply turning over in his crib???? Completely and utterly defies logic!

Then in the midst of her hysteria with the 911 operator she pauses with an affirmation pointed to Darin that 'somebody who did it intentionally walked in here and did it Darin' as if he is looking at her accusingly. Or the fact that she tells the responding officer to check the garage instead of leading him to her mortally wounded children. Her priorities are wrong, wrong, wrong!

Then there's the much publicized silly string party at the grave of her murdered children, of which Darlie herself invited the media to record. That in itself is disturbing, but what really grabbed my attention is the claim there was a somber tear filled memorial service prior to the birthday party yet Darlie's face is completely unblemished. No blotchy mottled tear stained face or red puffy eyes or nose...not even a tissue in sight. Just the plain pale face of a gum gnawing woman laughing and spraying silly string on her children's fresh grave. Grotesque!

There is sooo much more that points to Darlie Routier as being the murderer of Damon and Devon but only have so much space. The final straw for me...the June 17, 2015 DNA results that show NO NEW DNA FOUND! Laying to rest the ramblings of the Darlie supporters who have said that there is 'unknown DNA' yet to be discovered....because there is none to be discovered.

Rest in peace Damon and Devon...

Vote down Vote up

almost 3 years ago

She's guilty. Staying on the phone rather than helping her boys, no fear of the "killer" after this. None. Cleaned up the sink area, blood on the back of her gown, her telling Darin "I didn't do anything Darin", the blood UNDEr the vacuum, the jewelry and purse not taken, no prints outside, the screen fibers on the knife. She did this to punish Darin. Her supporters say she's innocent, yet they've had 17 years to raise DNA funding and they haven't. She's going to hell. RIP Devon & Damon, she can't hurt you anymore.

Vote down Vote up

over 4 years ago

I think Darlie killed her children. I read the statement she gave to police in her own hand writing, it told me everything I need to know. She slept on the couch because when sleeping in her bed the baby moved and it woke her. (light sleeper then?) Tell me how somebody can have their throat slit and they don't wake up? Her children are bleeding and she doesn't touch them, instead she is noticing a glass table and flowers out of place and then checks to see if anything is missing. In her statement she has been told her boys are dead, her next comment is "I just remember screaming and showing Daren my neck". In her statement she never once mentions the killer, the confrontation or the struggle that caused her bruises. She has Damons blood on the back of her shirt, but if her throat was slit she was laying on her back and didn't wake up so how is the blood there? She never mentions Devon once.There were so many other strange things in her statement, look it up and read it for your self. The police might have bungled the evidence just like in the O.J. Simpson case but we all still know O.J. killed Nicole and Ron. Women can kill their own children, it has happened before and sadly will again, just because you wouldn't doesn't mean they didn't or won't!!

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

Please who would have the time to pick up the murder weapon? She should have had her husband make the 911 call and stayed with and comforted her children.
A Mother's instinct is her children, not picking up the murder weapon.

Vote down Vote up

over 1 year ago

She failed her LD test.
DNA from June of this year (2015) show zero unknown DNA.
There was no magic, invisible intruder spider man capabilities to have gone in, done it all, fought w/ Darlie and gotten out without leaving a trace.
Didn't happen.
Darlie did it.
Darlie will die for it.

Vote down Vote up

almost 2 years ago

DNA released June 17, 2015 show zero evidence of an intruder. All evidence points to Darlie. Evidence, not the bs that her fans and mother spew. Darlie did this awful deed and only fools can think otherwise. If you have not read all evidence in this case, you can't have a valid opinion.

Vote down Vote up

over 7 years ago

I have watched and read about this case somewhat and after seeing the two ex cops special on CI, who questioned her at length and also examined the evidence presented at trial?? came to the same conclusion as so many on this site, she is guilty, she did kill her sons, she is a basty woman who wanted the opulance of life at the expense of her small little children. She does deserve the faith that belies her and sorry for Rhonda from Australia(see other comments) you haven't quite grasped the evil woman being portrayed as an innocent. The only innocence here are two small boys

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

I've spent alot of time going over the evidence. All of it, and I believe she is guilty. Now before all of you start throwing things at me, let's look at a couple of the facts. Let's leave out how we all think how a mother is supposed to grieve, we'll all fight til the death over that. Just the facts. Darlie had blood of both boys on her nightgown. Not on her front, but her back. Now, there are only a couple of ways that could happen. Either she got on her back and rubbed up against both boys or it was cast off from the bloody knife. A bloody handprint of Damon's was wiped off the couch and there was evidence of cleanup at the kitchen sink. When police used luminol on the sink the whole sink lit up like a xmas tree. Pretty thoughtful intruder to clean up after himself. There was no evidence of wet towels anywhere when police arrived on the scene and she only offered that excuse when she found the sink had been taken for testing. I came into this neutral until I got through the entire case, because no one wants to believe a mother could do something so heinous. I've discounted the whole silly string debacle but can't forget two things that have came out of the case and probably never will forget. The fact that when she was wheeled past the room Damon was in, hooked up to all those life saving tubes and devices, nude but for the cartooned underwear he was wearing. She looked in the room and saw her son laying there then calmly looked forward as if nothing was in there in the first place. And last is the fact that she didn't not once go near either boys when police and emt's were there. I might not be able to say how a person can grieve for a loved one. But I know one thing. If my son was lying there on the floor fighting for his life. I'd be at his head while emt's were working on him, consoling him..telling him that mommy loves you and that he'd be alright.

Vote down Vote up

almost 7 years ago

I believe this woman is guilty. Too much of the evidence points directly to her. What woman, just days after the brutal murder of her sons would stand at the grave, laughing, popping bubble gum, shooting silly string everywhere? The only tears she has ever shed has been for herself. She never once cradled her dying boys, just whined that she may have messed prints on the knife. Everything she did that night is suspiscious and they should put her to death already. Avenge those poor murdered boys. THey also need to investigate further into her husband. I believe he had a part in it also.

Vote down Vote up

over 8 years ago

I Have followed the Darlie Routier case amongst others and believe her to be guilty.I have looked at both arguements but always i come back to the evidence.We are expected to believe the mystery intruder entered the house unarmed but used her kitchen knife.He then stabbed the boys horrifically whilst mum slept feet away.He then slashes mum and presumubly she was looking elsewhere when he cleaned Damons bloody handprint of the sofa and Darlies blood fom the sink.People like to think of mums as incapable of harming their kids when the horrible truth is that they do.Dianne Downs in 1983.Susan Smith in 1992 and lots of less high profile cases when the mothers are poor or ugly so not good media fodder.

Vote down Vote up

almost 9 years ago

she is guilty as hell!!! why cant any of you bleeding-heart idiots see that???? it is obvious!

Vote down Vote up

almost 9 years ago

Sadie, please learn a little more about the case until until you post such silly things! What is obvious? Have you been a eye-witnes in the crime scene or why do you really know she is guilty. For me nothing is proven and so she is innocent and not guilty.

And like me think a lot of civilisated people.

Vote down Vote up

over 8 years ago

The proper word for murder is grisly not grizzly. A grizzly is a kind of bear.

Vote down Vote up

over 9 years ago

This is the State of Texas, we kill more inmates then any other state in the country. As of this 5th day of January 2008 how many inmates have we released from prison after DNA testing! Don't pass judgement on Darlie until you take time and read all the information on this case. I know for a fact that Darlie deserves a new trail. It was more like the circus was in Kerrville, as some jurors have said, if they were allowed to review all the photo's in this case they would not have found Darlie guilty. We need to get Darlie in court and give her a new trail. May God continue to give Darlie the strength to fight for her new trail.

Vote down Vote up

almost 9 years ago









Only in America. The US justice system leaves a lot to be desired. I have watched this documentary at least 3 times on FOX CI channel. I cannot believe that this woman was found guilty. It is the same as the Memphis 3 still in prison on evidence that was not even there.

The Dahlia Routier case is disgusting you see the prosecutor sprouting that she is guilty. He cannot say that for certain. These prosecutors are so blood thirsty. Cant waiting to see people executed, so that the person goes away and the errors of the case are forgotten about.

I do not believe that any mother could stab her children to death. I certainly do not believe this is the case in this instance.

The media get their claws into something and they manipulate and change circumstances. Well the media should feel very proud of themselves in this case and I do not know how they put their heads on their pillows to sleep at night. While the media are pumping out ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Dahlia Routier is in prison, waiting to be executed for something that she has not been proven by reasonable doubt. You have taken away this womans life and her remaining son has lost not only 2 brothers but his mother.

Sleep tight you dreadful people, you should not manipulate circumstances just to get a story. You are a disgrace.

























o

Vote down Vote up

over 9 years ago

I recently saw the documentry about Darlie again after seeing it some few years ago and now after seeing it a second time, i have to admit that the evidence against Darlie all just seem so circumstancial and that there is no solid proof of her guilt, the state of texas does, in my opinion have a lot to answer for because it seems to me that Darlie has not had her say or a fair trial for that matter,the system really just wanted to pin the blame on someone and she was the easiest victim. I believe she is 100% innocent

Vote down Vote up

over 9 years ago

I saw darlies case just recently on a television documentary in England.

After hearing both sides of the story during the program, I have concluded that darlie has not been proven guilty by any means, the officials working on this case had her under suspicion from the moment the crime was reported and they were not going to believe her story whatever forensic evidence came about.

I feel that if all evidence gatherd were to be rechecked using todays methods it is more than enough to reopen her case because even I know that some things just dont add up to a guilty women, and if I think this, a proffessional must see it too. However, I do think that the case has not been reopened because it is so clear she is innocent, and that would mean the state of texas would have to admit being wrong and I cannot see that happening. As much as I hate to say it, I dont think that she will ever get a retrial because of the trouble she could cause the system once found innocent.

Vote down Vote up

about 8 years ago

How this could happen in the US is a great injustice. This woman is innocent. The prosecutors and police decided that night that she did the crime. There is no motive, a missing murder weapon (Devin's blood is not onher shirt or the knife), no confession and a person claiming she is innocent from day one. No way. Someone out there please find someone that can get this woman a new trial. She needs to be able to get the DNA testing done but a Judge has denied the fun ding. This could prove her innocence.

Vote down Vote up

over 8 years ago

Why hasn't anyone looked at the possibly of the father being guilty. He was in the house and had the same opportunity as the mother supposedly had. he even had a motive as his affadavit says she asked hime for a separtation earlier that night. Why has that never come out? Also it was said it was for a finanicial benefit but the insurance on the boys was only $10 000. Darlie's life insurance was worth $300 000 which maybe why the husband tried to kill her.

Vote down Vote up

about 9 years ago

I followed this story when i watched the documentary on TV in th UK and i think she's innocent. I sure hope it goes to trial again.

I would really love to see the documentary again but can't find it anyway. Any ideas how i would be able to get a copy of that documantary?

Vote down Vote up

about 9 years ago

I have watched tis story from the beginning, & believe Darlie is innocent! I'm a mother of three myself, & I know a good, loving, caring mother could never do something so horrible! I really hope she gets a new trial soon, & something good comes of it! She has suffered enough! Thanks!

Vote down Vote up

over 7 years ago

did anyone even think of doing a lie detector test on her. just because she was putting sillt string on her sons grave that makes her guilty ogf murder there was more eveidence against oj simpson and look he was found innocent of murder. i believe that she is innocent and maybe you should look into other people.