The Darlie Routier Case

  • Site description

    This site seeks to provide information about the case of Darlie Routier. Darlie is on death row in Texas for a crime she has steadfastly maintained she did not commit.

    A growing body of evidence supports her claims of innocence.

    Please take time to learn about Darlie’s case. Join us in speaking out.

    Use the site map located here, the search tool below, or click on the headers at the top of the page to navigate the site.

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    To donate to Darlie's Defense Fund that is managed by her defense attorneys, please click here

Who’s Who

In this section a brief overview will be provided of all those who have played a role in Darlie’s case. It includes family members, attorneys and other legal representatives, law enforcement, investigators, witnesses and anyone whose involvement has impacted this case in some way.

FAMILY

Darlie Routier

Darlie has been in prison since she was arrested and charged for the murders of her sons, Devon and Damon, on June 18, 1996. She was convicted of the murder of Damon on February 4, 1997 and has resided on death row in Gatesville, Texas, since that time. Her case is currently in the appeals process. She testified at trial on January 29, 1997.

Darin Routier

Darlie’s husband, who was seen as a potential suspect in the murders by Darlie’s court appointed attorney Douglas Parks. Parks’ replacement, Doug Mulder, curiously chose not to pursue Darin. He stood by Darlie for many years before shying away from the media upon divorcing her in 2011. He testified at trial.

Devon Routier

The eldest of Darlie and Darin’s three sons who was murdered on June 6, 1996 at the Routier home.

Damon Routier

The second eldest of Darlie and Darin’s three sons who was murdered on June 6, 1996 at the Routier home.

Drake Routier

The youngest of Darlie and Darin’s three sons. Drake was a baby at the time of the murders.

Sarilda Routier

Mother of Darin. Testified at trial for the defense.

Leonard Routier

Father of Darin. Did not testify at trial.

Arenda Routier

Darin’s sister. Did not testify at trial.

Deon Routier

Darin’s Brother. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Dana Routier

Darin’s sister in law and wife of Deon. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Darlie Kee

Mother of Darlie. Testified at trial only during the punishment phase. In 2002, she provided an affidavit for Darlie’s appeal that described the reasons behind hiring Doug Mulder to replace court appointed attorneys Parks and Huff.

Robbie Kee

Darlie Kee’s husband. Did not testify at trial. He provided an affidavit to Darlie’s defense in 2002, stating that Darin told him before the murders that he was looking for someone to help him stage a robbery as an insurance scam.

Sherry Moses

Sister of Darlie Kee and aunt of Darlie Lynn. Testified at trial for the defense.

LuAnn Black

Sister of Darlie Kee and aunt of Darlie Lynn. Testified at trial for the defense.

Amanda Gray

School teacher and cousin of Darin. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

NEIGHBORS

Karen Neal

A nurse and friend who lived across the road from the Routier’s. She attended the crime scene the morning of the 6th after Darin came banging on their door. Testified at trial for the defense.

Terry Neal

Husband of Karen. Did not testify at trial.

Rebecca Neal

Daughter of Terry and Karen Neal. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Mercedes Adams

Good friend of Darlie’s who lived directly across the street from the Routier home. Did not testify at trial.

Nelda Watts

Former school teacher who lived at 5802 Eagle Drive. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Gustavo Guzman Jr.

18 year old who lived at 5706 Willowbrook. Garden tools and kitchen knives, deemed by police as unrelated to the crime, were found in his backyard by police on the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

William Gorsuch

Lived at 8401 Eagle Drive. Testified at trial for the State.

JUDGES

Mark Tolle

Judge of the Criminal District Court No. 3, of Dallas County, Texas. He presided over Darlie’s trial.

Paul Banner

Sat in for the absent Tolle at three pretrial hearings on August 26, 27 and 28, 1996.

Owen Lokken

Municipal court judge who arraigned Darlie on June 19, 1996. He set her bail at $500,000.

Sid Harle

Presided over court reporter Sandra Halsey’s disciplinary hearing which commenced on June 5, 1999.

PROSECUTION

John Vance

Criminal District Attorney Dallas County, Texas.

Greg Davis

Assistant District Attorney Dallas County, Texas. Lead attorney at trial.

Toby Shook

Assistant District Attorney Dallas County, Texas. Assistant to Davis.

Sherri Wallace

Assistant District Attorney Dallas County, Texas. Assistant to Davis.

John Grau

Assistant District Attorney Dallas County, Texas. Assistant to Davis.

DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

Douglas D. Mulder

Replaced Parks as lead Defense Attorney for Darlie on October 21, 1996. He also represented Darin and Darlie Kee at a pre-trial gag order hearing.

Richard Mosty

Assistant to Mulder at trial.

Curtis Glover

Assistant to Mulder at trial.

S. Preston Douglass Jr.

Assistant to Mulder at trial.

Douglas Parks

Court appointed attorney who was replaced by Mulder on October 21, 1996. Parks provided an affidavit to Darlie’s appeals attorneys stating that he communicated his belief Darin was involved in the murders.

Wayne Huff

Court appointed attorney who was dismissed at the time Parks was replaced.

John Hagler

Attorney who appeared for the purpose of Darlie’s appeal.

OTHER ATTORNEYS

Albert Patillo III

Attorney at Law who made one appearance during the trial to represent Detective Jimmy Patterson.

Steven Pickell

Attorney at Law who made one appearance during the trial to represent Officer Chris Frosch.

John Weddle

Attorney at Law who appeared for Chief Bob Knowles at a pre-trial hearing.

STATE APPEALS ATTORNEYS

Bill Hill                                                                 

Criminal District Attorney, Dallas County, Texas. Counsel for the State at court reporter Sandra Halsey’s disciplinary hearing.

John Clark Long IV

Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County, Texas. Counsel for the State at court reporter Sandra Halsey’s disciplinary hearing.

John Rolater, Jr.

Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County, Texas. Appeared for the State in the appeals process.

Libby Lange

Assistant District Attorney Deputy Chief, Appellate Division. Appeared for the State in the appeals process.

Lindsey Roberts

Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County, Texas. Appeared for the State in the appeals process.

DEFENSE APPEALS ATTORNEYS

J. Stephen Cooper

Attorney at Law, Dallas, Texas. Has handled Darlie’s appeals process.

Stephen Losch

Michael F. Flanagan, Pro Hac Vice

Counsel for Darlie during hearing for her first application For Post-Conviction Writ Of Habeas Corpus.

Daniel Cantu

Counsel for Darlie during hearing for her first application For Post-Conviction Writ Of Habeas Corpus.

Rey Rodriguez

Counsel for Darlie during hearing for her first application for Post-Conviction Writ Of Habeas Corpus.

Richard Smith

Counsel for Darlie during hearing for her first application for Post-Conviction Writ Of Habeas Corpus.

Richard Burr

Counsel for Darlie during hearing for her first application For Post-Conviction Writ Of Habeas Corpus.

Lauren Schmidt

Counsel for Darlie during hearing for her first application For Post-Conviction Writ Of Habeas Corpus.

INVESTIGATORS

Lloyd Harrell

Private investigator from Dallas, who appeared for Darlie at trial. Testified for the defense.

James Cron

A retired “crime scene analyst” who was to claim on the morning of June 6th, 1996, that the scene in the Routier home had been staged and the perpetrator was someone from within the home. Testified at trial for the State.

William Parker

Private detective from Dallas who testified about his meeting with Darlie at the Rowlett PD on June 18, 1996.

ROWLETT PD

Randall Posey

Rowlett Police Chief, who at a June 6 press conference advised the assembled media of Darlie’s version of events.

Dean Poos

Public information officer, communications and record supervisor and computer system administrator. Testified at trial for the State.

Jimmy Patterson

Lead detective in the case who would plead the Fifth Amendment during his testimony at trial when called by the defense.

Chris Frosch

Refused to testify at trial on the grounds that it may incriminate him. Pleaded the Fifth.

David Waddell

A patrolman who was the first officer on the scene. Testified at trial for the State.

James Walling

A Lieutenant and the second officer on the scene. Testified at trial for the State.

Steve Wade

Patrolman who stood watch at the front door of the Routier home on the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

Thomas Ward

Sergeant and peace officer who searched the area around the Routier home on the morning of June 6th. The officer who found the sock in alley at the rear of the house. Testified at trial for the State.

Steve Ferrie

Searched the area around the Routier home on the morning of June 6th. Was with Sergeant Ward when sock was found in alley at rear of house. Testified at trial for the State.

David Mayne

Crime scene photographer and manager of evidence section. Testified at trial for the State.

Charles Hamilton

Patrolman and crime scene officer. Processed the Routier home for fingerprints on the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

MEDICAL EXAMINERS

Joni McClain

Medical Examiner with Dallas County who performed the autopsy on Devon. Testified at trial.

Dr. Janis Townsend-Parchman

Medical Examiner with Dallas County who performed the autopsy on Damon. Testified at trial.

EXPERTS

Kathryn Long

Forensic serologist at the Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas. Examined crime scene on June 6th with Charles Linch and tested for traces of blood. Testified at trial for the State.

Charles Linch

Trace evidence analyst at the Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas. Examined crime scene on June 6th with Kathryn Long and tested for traces of blood and other evidence. Testified at trial for the State.

Judith Floyd

Forensic laboratory supervisor at Gene Screen in Dallas. Testified at trial for the State.

Robert Poole

Firearm and tool mark examiner at the Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas. Testified at trial for the State.

Carolyn Van Winkle

Forensic DNA analyst at the Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas. Testified at trial for the State.

Tom Bevel

Alleged bloodstain pattern analyst. Testified at trial for the State.

Alan Brantley

Supervisory special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Testified at trial for the State.

Dr. Vincent J.M. DiMaio

Renowned gunshot wound expert and board-certified anatomical, clinical and forensic pathologist. Testified for the defense.

Dr Lisa Clayton

Physician and forensic psychologist who testified for the defense.

Dr. Richard Coons

Physician and forensic psychiatrist who testified at trial.

PARAMEDICS & FIRE DEPT.

Jack Kolbye

Paramedic/fire fighter, who along with Brian Koschak, was in the first ambulance to arrive at the scene. Testified at trial for the State.

Brian Koschak

Paramedic, who along with Jack Kolbye, was in the first ambulance to arrive at the scene. Testified at trial for the State.

Larry Byford

Paramedic/fire fighter, who along with Eric Zimmerman, was in the second ambulance to arrive at the scene. Testified at trial for the State.

Eric Zimmerman

Paramedic/fire fighter, who along with Larry Byford, was in the second ambulance to arrive at the scene. Did not testify at trial.

BAYLOR HOSPITAL STAFF

Dr. Alejandro Santos

Operated on Darlie’s wounds on the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

Dr. Patrick Dillawn

Tended to Damon upon his arrival at the hospital. Testified at trial for the State.

Jodie Fitts

Registered nurse on duty the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

Christopher Wielgosz

ICU nurse on duty the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

Phyllis Jackson

Corporal with Baylor Hospital System police department. Testified at trial for the State.

Jody Cotner

Trauma coordinator on duty the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

Dianne Hollon

ICU nurse on duty the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

Paige Campbell

ICU neurosurgical trauma nurse on duty the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

Denise Faulk

ICU neurosurgical trauma nurse on duty the morning of June 6th. Testified at trial for the State.

OTHER WITNESSES

Okie Williams

Employee of Bank One in Rowlett. Testified at trial that Darin applied for a loan on June 1st and it was declined.

Halina Czaban

A Polish native and mother of Barbara Jovell. Did laundry and some cleaning at the Routier home on June 4 and 5. Testified at trial as to Darlie’s demeanor on those days.

Barbara Jovell

Friend of Darlie’s and daughter of Halina Czaban. Testified at trial that Darlie was attempting to commit suicide in May of 1996.

David Rogers

Pastor of Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship Church in Mesquite, Texas. Officiated at the burial service for Devon and Damon. Testified at trial for the defense.

Dana Godfrey

Friend of Darlie’s who testified at trial for the defense.

Cara Byford

Friend of Darlie’s who testified at trial for the defense.

Julie Clark

Friend of Darlie’s who met her through her husband, Steve, who was a friend of Darin’s. Testified at trial for the defense.

Angelia Rickels

Lived in Miami Drive, about a half mile from the Routier home. Testified at trial about unknown persons trying to gain access to her home. Also reported having seen a strange black car in the area.

Allison Hennessey

Stepdaughter of Glenn Mize. Met Darlie through mutual friend, Renee Stanley, in 1994. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Renee Stanley

Best friend of Allison Hennessey who babysat often for Darlie. Did not testify at trial.

Eileen Schirmer

Had an electronics business with her husband and met the Routier’s in 1993. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Kay Norris

Met the Routier’s on numerous occasion during her time as an employee of American Pawn Shop in Garland. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Melanie Lynn Waits

Met Darlie through mutual friends in 1991. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

Kenneth Waits

Husband of Melanie. Testified at trial during the punishment phase.

ADDITIONAL PEOPLE

Sandra Halsey

Court reporter who was decertified by the State Board for her inaccurate recording of proceedings at Darlie’s trial.

Suzy Crowley

Halsey’s daughter and a transcription scopist who used tapes of the guilt and punishment phases of the trial to make permanent changes to the English translation of the original proceedings on the disks

Tommy Mullins, Judy Miller, and Jerry Calloway

Certified court reporters that the court appointed on November 4, 1998, to conduct a review and to compare notes and disks to Halsey’s record. They were to determine whether Halsey’s report could be certified.

Susan Simmons

An official court reporter who certified the new record of Darlie’s trial. Gave an affidavit stating she believed that Sandra Halsey, the original court reporter, knowingly signed a false certificate. Simmons also claimed that Halsey lied to Judge Francis, denying that audio tapes of Darlie’s trial existed. In a second affidavit she estimated there were at least 20,000 changes in hard copy version of the record.

Barry Fife

Rumored to have been solicited by Darin to take part in an insurance scam. Fife would later say that he believed Darin “snapped” and was responsible for the murders.

Glenn Mize

Stepfather of Darlie’s friend Allison Hennessey who physically abused Allison’s mother. Darlie thought Mize may have been involved in the murders.

Charles Samford

Samford served on the jury who made the decision to convict Darlie. In 2002 he provided an affidavit to Darlie’s defense stating that the jury watched the video of Devon’s birthday party nine times and it was one of the main reasons he voted to convict Darlie. Said if the videotape had been played in its entirety, including the prayer vigil held prior, he would have likely voted to acquit.

Darlene Potter

Potter provided an affidavit to Darlie’s defense regarding two men she saw in the early morning hours of June 6th. Potter was driving northbound on Dalrock Road (north of Highway 66) at 2 in the morning when she saw two men walking on the side of the road. One was six feet tall with shoulder length brown hair, had no shoes on, and was wearing a black T-shirt. Described the second man as wearing a light colored baseball cap, a white shirt, and blue jeans.

Dr. J Douglas Crowder

Provided an affidavit for Darlie’s defense stating that his colleague, Dr. Kenneth Dekleva, indicated to him that he had served as a psychiatric consultant on Darlie’s case. He reportedly advised the prosecution that in his professional opinion Darlie did not pose a future threat to society.

Richard Reyna

Provided an affidavit to Darlie’s appeals attorneys stating that Robbie Kee told him about a conversation that occurred before the murder in which Darin discussed wanting to find someone to burglarize the family home as part of an insurance scheme. Darin denied having the conversation with Kee when Reyna first asked him about it, but then admitted that it took place but he did not follow the plan through.

Samuel Palenik

While working as the President and Senior Research Microscopist at a company called Microtrace in 2002, Palenik provided an affidavit to Darlie’s appeals attorneys. He described his experience as a forensic microscopist and recommended that the fiber reportedly found on the bread knife, and attributed to coming from the window screen that was cut, undergo testing using modern technology. He also recommended additional testing on defects in Darlie’s nightshirt to determine the cause. He pointed out that the fiber on the bread knife may have come from another source, such as one of the fingerprint brushes used to dust each of the knives for prints.

Terry Laber

In 2002, Laber provided an affidavit to Darlie’s defense regarding the work he did for her original defenders, Park and Huff. Laber, along with his colleague Barton Epstein, examined physical evidence in Darlie’s case and made many recommendations about conducting further testing on the items. Laber met with Doug Mulder and Lloyd Harrell once upon the change of attorneys; however, Mulder never followed up with Laber regarding the recommendations he made at the one meeting. Laber also outlined the physical evidence that he believed were not consistent with a staged crime scene.

Robert Lohnes

Lohnes was a latent print consultant obtained by ABC News to examine the bloody fingerprint known as 85-J. He concluded in an affidavit provided to the defense that Darlie was not the source of the print.

Richard Jantz

Worked for Darlie’s appeals attorneys in the capacity of anthropological analyst. He provided an affidavit to the defense in 2003. He compared bloody fingerprint 85-J against those available for Damon and Devon. The boys were exhumed for the purpose of taking prints because the prosecution claimed prints of the boys were not originally taken. Jantz concluded the prints did not match either of the boys. He stated the bloody print was most consistent with a female adult. This is based on a collection of prints maintained at the Department of Anthropology. In reference to bloody print 85-J he concluded, “The latent print consistently has a higher probability of having been made by an adult”. The prosecution and its own fingerprint expert, Pat Wertheim, challenged his findings. He responded here.

Patrick Wertheim

Criminalist who provided an affidavit on behalf of the prosecution stating that the method used by Jantz, with regard to comparing fingerprint 85-J against prints of the two boys, was “misleading and unreliable”. Wertheim then claims that the testimony provided by James Cron regarding the print was accurate. In a separate affidavit provided in 2003, Wertheim claimed that that all those compares against the prints (including police, detectives, paramedics, and Darin Routier were excluded. According to Wertheim, Darlie’s right ring finger was neither identified as a source of the print nor excluded. This was contradictory to Lohnes’ finding that Darlie was excluded as a source of the print.