Judge to rule Monday on whether items must be turned over; writ needed,
By ROBERT THARP / The Dallas Morning News
Five attorneys representing convicted murderer Darlie Routier argued
Wednesday that prosecutors should turn over evidence in her capital murder
conviction for new tests.
Ms. Routier's legal team is asking for access to several items seized from
her Rowlett home June 6, 1996, the night her young sons, Devon and Damon,
were stabbed to death.
According to a defense motion, attorneys hope to conduct their own
forensic tests to bolster her argument that an intruder slipped into the
home, attacked her and killed the boys.
Attorneys for Darlie Routier,
who attended the hearing,
hope to conduct forensic tests
on items taken from her home.
IRWIN THOMPSON / DMN
Judge Robert Francis said he will rule Monday on the motion. Ms. Routier,
transferred to Dallas County Jail from women's death row in Gatesville,
was present for the hourlong hearing.
Prosecutor John Rolater Jr. opposed the defense request for access to
evidence, saying such motions should be made after the attorneys file a
writ of habeas corpus. Attorneys have until July 13 to file that challenge
to her conviction based on new evidence or arguments not addressed in the
Items sought by Ms. Routier's attorneys include a nightshirt she wore on
the night of the slaying. Attorneys hope to show that the shirt has
evidence of cutting that would be inconsistent with prosecutors'
allegations that her chest wounds were self-inflicted.
Attorneys also want to analyze carpet and floor samples, as well as a
kitchen knife and a window screen.
Ms. Routier indicated to Judge Francis that she had met each of the
attorneys and wanted their representation.
Besides attorney Steven Losch, who was not present but spoke with the
judge by telephone during the hearing, Ms. Routier's legal team includes
three attorneys from a firm in Washington, D.C., who are working at no
Dallas attorney J. Stephen Cooper, who was initially appointed to handle
the appeal of her conviction under review by the Court of Criminal
Appeals, rounds out the defense team.