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Darlie Routier Trial: 1997

A House Stained By Blood, Deadly Or Doting Mother?

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!"

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