Convicted killer's case before state's highest criminal court


03/27/2002

Associated Press

FILE 2001
Darlie Routier in prison last year. AUSTIN Convicted child killer Darlie Routier should get a new trial because the transcript of her 1997 trial is filled with problems and prevents her attorneys from raising important legal questions, her attorney argued Wednesday.

"This whole record (transcript) issue is so outrageous," said her attorney, Stephen Cooper. "It impacts other fundamental constitutional rights of my client, to boot."

Arguing before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Cooper said questions surrounding the trial transcript prevent him from probing whether a conflict existed with Routier's original attorney because he also represented her husband in a hearing.

John Rolater Jr., a lawyer from the Dallas County district attorney's office, said the trial transcript is in good shape and should be used for the appeal.

Routier, a homemaker at the time, was arrested two weeks after her sons Damon, 5, and Devon, 6, were stabbed to death in their upscale Rowlett home on June 6, 1996.

Routier was tried and convicted by a Kerrville jury for Damon's death and was given a death sentence.

She has maintained her innocence and blames the stabbings on an intruder.

Attorneys for Routier had filed an appeal that raises questions about whether her husband had a role in the killings. The appeal didn't blame her husband, Darin Routier, for the crime but states that a conflict involving Darlie Routier's attorney prevented the lawyer from questioning any inconsistencies his account of the event.

The appeal alleged Darlie Routier deserves a new trial because her trial attorney had previously represented Darin Routier.

Darin Routier maintains neither he nor his wife committed the crime.

The appeal cited more than a dozen other claims of trial error.