Killer for Hire - The Final Chapter of the Alabama Twins Murder Case
Last Man Standing
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In Rowlett, Texas, during the early morning hours of June 6, 1996, Darlie and Darin Routier's two oldest sons, Devon, 6, and Damon, 5, were fatally stabbed in the downstairs living room of their home. Darlie, 26, was wounded in the neck and upper torso. She told police that a man wearing dark clothes and a baseball cap committed the crime. Darin told police that he and the couple's 8-month-old son, Drake, slept through the attack in an upstairs bedroom and he was awaken by Darlie's hysterical screams. Listen to this recording of Darlie's call to 911.
After a sobbing and grieving memorial service, the Routiers and other family members held a graveside birthday celebration for Devon, who would have turned 7. They sprayed Silly String on the grave and sang "Happy Birthday." A local TV channel videoed the birthday celebration and afterward interviewed the Routiers during which they said they had nothing to hide and had no idea why someone would kill the boys. (See American Justice Part 3 Below)
The police arrested Darlie and charged her with capital murder in Devon and Damon's deaths. Investigators said her account of the attack did not match evidence from the scene. Her bond was set at $1 million.
A Dallas County grand jury indicted Darlie on two counts of capital murder and the prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against her. Because of the pretrial publicity the trial was moved from Dallas to Kerrville.
The news media depicted the crime as another heartless mother whose children were getting in the way of her lifestyle, so she killed them. The prosecutors depicted her as a materialistic, self-centered woman, whose life was unraveling in the wake of the birth of her third son and supposed financial difficulties that were facing the family and that the crime scene had been staged.
She was tried and convicted of murdering one of her two sons, and is currently on death row at the Mountain View Prison in Gatesville, Texas, awaiting execution by lethal injection. Prosecutors did not try her for the death of the second son, holding his murder in reserve in case of she was acquittal on the first murder trial.
The prosecutors' case against Darlie was circumstantial and based on experts who theorized about evidence collected or viewed at the crime scene emphasizing these key issues:
The boys' wounds were savage and deep but Darlie's wounds were possibly self-inflicted.
Paramedic said she never asked about the condition of her children when she was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
A fingerprint expert who examined the scene, said that the only prints found were Darlie's and her children's.
A blood expert, testified that the blood on Darlie's nightshirt belonged to her sons. It had been sprayed on her and he suggested that this could happen as she raised her arms upward in a stabbing motion.
A knife in the Routier kitchen contained fibers that were microscopically consistent with material in the screen in a garage window that had been cut, allegedly to stage entry by an intruder.
Nurses from the hospital testified that Darlie did not demonstrate grief towards the loss of her sons. They claimed she seemed more concerned with making a point to say she picked up the knife off the kitchen floor, which put her prints on the knife.
Blood found under a vacuum cleaner and blood spots on the cleaner itself, indicating that the vacuum cleaner had been placed there after the crime was committed.
A trace-evidence expert, said it was impossible for an intruder to leave that scene without a trail of blood. There was no blood in the garage through which Darlie told the police the intruder fled.
The dust on the window ledge where Darlie believed the intruder left the garage, and the mulch just outside that same window, were undisturbed. Also, the screen on this window was cut from the inside not from the outside.
An FBI special agent testified that the window screen that was cut could have merely been removed by an intruder. Also that Darlie's expensive jewelry had been left untouched, discounting robbery as a motive. As to the motive being rape, he said that a rapist would have used her children as leverage to get her to submit, not killed them. And finally he addressed the savagery of the stabbing of the boys and said that in his opinion, it was a personal attack done with extreme anger, not by a stranger.
Darlie took the stand against the advice of her counsel. Prosecutors asked her why she told different versions of the story to different policemen. They asked about her dog, which barks at strangers but didn't bark when the intruder entered her home. They asked her why her kitchen was cleaned but under testing showed remnants of blood all over. To most of the questions, Darlie answered that she didn't remember or didn't know.
Probably the most damaging evidence was the introduction of the "Silly String" video depicting Darlie dancing around, laughing, spraying Silly String of the graves of her two sons, yelling at them that she loved them while grinning and chewing bubble gun.
Was all the evidence shown to the jury? If not, why wasn't it?
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Many issues and facts have come to light after her trial that, if true, would appear to provide enough evidence that a new trial would be appropriate. Some of those issues include:
The lawyer who represented Darlie at trial had an apparent conflict of interest, because he reportedly had a pre-arrangement with Darin Routier and other family members not to pursue any defense that could implicate Darin. This attorney allegedly stopped key experts for the defense from completing forensic examinations.
The court reporter who was present at her trial botched the reporting of the trial proceedings. She admitted filling a falsified record for the purpose of hiding her mistakes. There were tens of thousands of reported errors in the transcript (other than typos). There was other misconduct by the court reporter. Prosecutor refused to prosecute her for perjury despite the fact that the state paid $30,000 for the transcript and she sold several copies to the media. Her conduct delayed the appeal for two years and resulted in six hearings that would have otherwise been unnecessary.
The jurors were never shown the photos of her cuts and bruises which were taken when she was hospitalized the night of the murders. Her emergency surgery cost over $12,000. One juror told reporters he would never have voted to convict if he had seen the photographs.
Bloody fingerprints have been found that do not belong to Darlie, Darin, the children or any of the police or other people in the Routier home the night of the murder.
A bloody fingerprint was found on the living room table. Who does it belong to?
There was a bloody fingerprint on the door of the garage. Who does it belong to?
A pubic hair was found in the Routier living room. Who does it belong to?
A bloody tube sock was found in the alley behind the Routiers' home. Who left limb hairs on the bloody sock?
Did the police get debris on the knife in the kitchen while investigating the murder or did it come from the screen door?
Darlie's husband has admitted to trying to arrange an insurance scam, which included someone breaking into their home. He has admitted that he had begun the initial steps to arrange a break-in, but that it was to be done when no one was at home. No jury has heard this admission.
The incriminating Birthday Party film that was viewed by the jury showed Darlie dancing on the graves of her sons along with other family members, but did not include the filming of the hours previous to that scene when Darlie sobbed and grieved over the graves with her husband Darin. Why was the additional footage not shown to the jury?
Neighbors reported seeing a black car sitting in front of the Routier home a week before the murders took place. Other neighbors reported seeing the same car leaving the area on the night of the murders. Were these reports investigated by police?
Investigators during her trial invoked their fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination during cross examination, preventing the defense from rebutting their testimony. What did these investigators fear by being cross-examined?
There was discussion of the police not protecting the evidence as they collected it which could have possibly damaged it's origins. Did this occur?
The screen which investigators reported to the press as being cut from the inside was later proven in court to be cut from the outside.
When the paramedics arrived at the scene they said that Darin Routier was outside, but Darin was inside trying to save his children. Who was the man outside?
Was the testimony from the nurses in the hospital coached and rehearsed in mock trials by the prosecution prior to their testimony, as it has been reported?
The surgeon who operated on Darlie said that the cut in her neck was 2mm of the carotid sheath (tissue surrounding the carotid artery) but was superficial to the carotid artery. The necklace she was wearing was damaged as a result of the wound but it also blocked the knife from going deeper into her neck. Did the jury get a clear understanding as to the seriousness of her wounds?
Was there an improper read-back of testimony to the jury by the court reporter, due to mistakes she made in the transcript?
The prosecution has reportedly refused to provide access to any evidence in their custody in the case. Why is it not readily available to all interested parties?
The advancements in DNA testing could put many of these questions to rest. Why is there such a reluctance to do the testing?
Some writers who have interviewed Darlie Routier have decided to help her fight to get a new trial. Since reporting their opinions on her situation, they report that their ability to visit her has been blocked or made so inconvenient that little can be accomplished.
Please sign her petition to the governor! Click Here
For more details and current information regarding this case Click Here.
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