New attorney appointed in Routier appeal
By ROBERT THARP / The Dallas Morning News
The federal appeal of Darlie Routierís capital murder conviction continues
even though the attorney who drafted the document died in May.
On Friday, District Judge Robert Francis appointed Richard Burr to carry
on the work of Steven Losch, who filed the writ of habeas corpus appeal
for the Rowlett woman based on information not included in her capital
murder trial. The Longview resident died in May following medical problems
related to two cervical spine surgeries, relatives said.
All of the filing deadlines for the case have passed, so the task facing
Mr. Burr, a death-penalty defense specialist whose clients have included
Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, is limited to waiting for Judge
Francis to rule on the writ filed by Mr. Losch.
Ms. Routierís direct appeal _ a separate appeal based on alleged errors
that occurred in her trial _ was rejected unanimously by the Texas Court
of Criminal Appeals in May.
Ms. Routier was sentenced to death in 1997 for killing her 5-year-old son,
Damon Routier. She also was accused of killing her 6-year-old son, Devon.
She insists that an intruder fatally stabbed the boys before stabbing her
in her Rowlett home.
Ms. Routier was transferred from her Gatesville prison unit for the brief
hearing Friday. Wearing a white jail jumpsuit, Ms. Routier told the judge
that she supported the plan to appoint Mr. Burr to her case.