TX - Court grants Routier limited DNA testing

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TX - Court grants Routier limited DNA testing

Post  Jennie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:44 am

Court grants Routier limited DNA testing

Darlie Routier, a homemaker sent to death row after her 2 young sons were
fatally stabbed in their upscale suburban house, on Wednesday was granted
new DNA testing she hopes will prove her claim that the true killer was an
intruder.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that Routier should be allowed
to conduct new DNA testing on blood stains on clothing, hairs and dried
flakes of a substance found near the garage of the Routier home in the
Dallas suburb of Rowlett.

"This is an answer to a prayer," a tearful Darlie Kee, Routier's mother,
told The Associated Press. "I'm not a scientist. But I know my daughter is
innocent."

Routier's previous appeals to the court had been denied, but state law
allows for post-conviction DNA testing in some cases.

Routier's children, Damon, 5, and Devon, 6, were stabbed to death in their
home in 1996. Routier has maintained her innocence and claims an intruder
attacked her and the boys then fled through the garage.

She was arrested 2 weeks after the murders. Her 1997 trial was moved to
Kerrville because of publicity surrounding the case. She was convicted of
capital murder for Damon's slaying and sentenced to death by lethal
injection.

The items Routier can test were already tested for her trial. But her
attorneys argue new, improved DNA technology could produce evidence to
support her claim of an intruder.

The case now goes back to the trial court to set up the new testing.

Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said his office has "no
doubts about Ms. Routier's guilt. We are confident that the new testing
will reaffirm the jury's decision."

The items to be retested:

-Blood stains on her night shirt that previous tests showed to be soaked
in blood from her and the boys. She claims newer techniques may find
another source of blood.

-A blood stain on a tube sock found in an alley. The sock contained blood
from both boys and a 3rd blood stain that did not yield a result. The
court agreed that newer techniques might yield a DNA result.

-Dried flakes on a utility room door. Although the flakes were previously
tested and found not to include human DNA, Routier alleges they are dried
blood that should be re-examined.

-Pubic and facial hairs. The pubic hair yielded no result and the facial
hair was found to be from someone other than Routier or her husband. She
maintains the facial hair is from the alleged intruder and hopes to
connect it to the results from the other retested items.

The court denied retests of a bloody palm print on the coffee table and
blood stains on a butcher knife, which investigators said was the murder
weapon.

In granting the new testing, the court said the state's case against
Routier remains strong, but if the new testing shows the results Routier
alleges, there's a chance a jury would not convict her.

"There is at least a 51 % likelihood that the jury would have seen her as
a victim herself, or at least that it would have harbored a reasonable
doubt that she was not," the court wrote.

Even if the tests cannot exclude her as the killer, planting that
reasonable doubt to her guilt would be a key step, said Routier's attorney
Stephen Cooper.

"We don't have a home run ball here," he said. "We have to put together a
couple of doubles."

Prosecutors alleged the motive for the killings was money. Darlie and
Darin Routier were living an expensive lifestyle and financial pressures
of credit cards and late mortgage payments were mounting, prosecutors
said.

Darin Routier also acknowledged that a few months before the murders, he
talked about hiring someone to break into the family's house in an
insurance scam.

Kee said she and Routier's youngest son, 12-year-old Drake, visited her in
prison Tuesday.

"He knows his mother is innocent," Kee said.

(source: Houston Chronicle)
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Jennie
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Re: TX - Court grants Routier limited DNA testing

Post  Jennie on Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:45 am

Rowlett mom on death row Darlie Routier granted DNA testing

Darlie Routier, the Rowlett mother sent to death row after the 1996
stabbing deaths of her 2 young sons, has been granted a chance to prove
her innocence through DNA testing.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on Wednesday ruled that Routier should
be allowed to conduct DNA testing on blood stains, flakes of dried blood
and hairs found at the crime scene.

Routier's previously appeals to the court had been denied, but state law
allows for post-conviction DNA testing in some cases. Routier has
maintained that she is innocent of the murders.

Routier was accused in the slayings of the young boys, Damon and Devon,
but was only tried and convicted in the death of Damon. She has maintained
that an intruder at the family's home killed them.

(source: Associated Press)
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Jennie
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