New attorney appointed in Routier appeal


07/11/2003

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.