Murderers will often stage crime scenes. There have been cases in which people have injured themselves to make it appear as though they were assaulted by an unknown intruder only for law enforcement to discover the wounds were self inflicted or created by an accomplice. In most of these cases, due diligence by professional police and forensic examiners will examine the case effectively and find the “victim” premeditated the murders and caused their own injuries. The “victims” will go to great lengths to cover up their role and certainly one could argue that by creating a self inflicted injury is by far an extreme measure taken to create the illusion of their innocence.
When these types of crimes occur, when a spouse or children are killed, motive is as important as forensic evidence. The motive and the known facts of the case and forensic evidence often support the same operating theory allowing law enforcement to find evidence that supports the “victim’s” story is fabricated, and their wounds and the scene has been staged.
As one examines these types of cases there is always a motive that will be the catalyst which will begin a chain reaction and set all other events into motion.
In the case against Darlie Routier there seems to be little evidence of motive to conclude she is guilty of the crime of murder.
Starting with the 911 call made by Routier on the morning of June 6 1996 at 231AM from her suburban home in Rowlett, Texas, a clearly distraught mother screams for help. Her two sons 6 year old Devon and 5 year old Damon have been attacked, stabbed, and are dying. Police arrive in less than three minutes to find a bloody crime scene, Darlie’s husband Darrin attempting to do CPR on one of their children, the other son pronounced dead at the scene. They find Darlie has also been stabbed, with wounds to her arms; her neck cut 2 millimeters from severing her carotid artery, bruising and abrasions on her arms all signs indicative of defensive wounds as she shielded herself from an unknown intruder. Paramedics rush Darlie and her son to the hospital. He would not survive, but Darlie recovered. Both boys were buried together a few days later.
Darlie informed investigators that an unknown white male had broken into her home. Investigators found signs that a window leading into the garage where the screen was cut open. 75 feet away from the house a tube sock had been discarded near a drainage ditch leading into an alleyway and the sock had blood drops with both her sons DNA.
Still, investigators immediately began focusing on Darlie as the murderer. Their forensic examiners could find no evidence of an intruder, and believed that Darlie caused her own wounds and believed her motive was because she and her husband were having financial difficulties.
Eight days after the murders, the crime was still unsolved. The story made headlines across the country as the community grieved and worried about the safety of their own families, Routier and others in her family visited the gravesites of her two boys on what would have been Devon’s 7th birthday. A television crew filmed the “birthday party”, the boys headstone decorated with colorful balloons, and Routier laughing as she and others sprayed “Silly String” onto the graves.
The district attorney, as well as others viewed this news footage and were disgusted at what that believed was a lack of remorse by a “grieving mother” and a few days later Routier was arrested and charged with capital murder.
The state of Texas made a compelling case against Routier, from blood splatter experts, to evidence suggesting that a knife inside the home had forensic evidence showing it had been used to cut the screen outside. This evidence pointed to the scene being staged, that Routier had cut the screen, then placed the knife back in the home, then stabbed her boys, ran 150 yards, 75 yards to dispose the sock, 75 yards back to the home, cut herself purposefully, then contacted 911 claiming an intruder had broken into the home. They painted Routier as coldblooded, egotistical, and evil, and showed the jury the news footage of her celebrating her son’s birthday at his gravesite, and Routier was found guilty and sentenced to death row where she still sits to this day 22 years later.
During those 22 years as Routier sits on death row, she has never changed her story, those closest to her, including her husband remain loyal to her, and they stayed married up until 2011 when they finally divorced. Even so, her husband still proclaims that Darlie is innocent.
Legally, appeals have been made, and most have been denied, and although a federal court has concluded that the state should turn over evidence to the defense to test a bloodied fingerprint and reanalyze the DNA evidence since DNA testing has drastically improved since 1997, the state seems reluctant to comply with the orders.
The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that has led to the freeing of more than 360 wrongfully convicted people involving those on death row like Darlie Routier are actively involved in the Routier case as of May 2019.
Although it is difficult to fathom why any person would murder someone, it becomes more perplexing when a mother kills her own children. In 1994, two years before Routier made that horrifying 911 call, another mother contacted 911 to report that while she was stopped in her car at a red light, an African-American man approached her, forcefully pulled her out of the vehicle and drove off into the night with her two sons sleeping in the back seat.
The story made national headlines as a young, white mother, Susan Smith from South Carolina tearfully pleaded on television for the African-American man who had carjacked her to return her two boys. There was a massive manhunt conducted by police, but from the outset certain parts of Smith’s story didn’t add up. Smith had stated she had been stopped at a traffic light that had turned red although there were not cars moving through the intersection. Investigators knew that the light would not have turned red for her unless another vehicle had approached the intersection activating the sensor.
For nine days Smith continued to plead with the abductor to bring back her boys on national television, while investigators began looking into the possibility that Smith had made up the story and knew where her son’s were. Although polygraph tests are not always reliable, it can be an effective tool when interrogating a suspect, investigators asked Smith to take one and she failed and soon after failing she broke down and confessed to having made up the story, and had killed her two sons by taking them to a local lake, placing her car in neutral, releasing the parking brake and rolling the car into the waters. The car was found soon after 120 feet from the ramp to the lake, her two boys inside the car drowned, and Smith was arrested for murder.
Smith was convicted of the murders and incarcerated and will not be eligible for parole until the year 2024. However, in this particular case, when examining the motive, investigators learned that she had been involved in an affair with a man where she wanted a serious relationship but he refused because he did not want children. However, one could also surmise that Smith intended to commit suicide but at the last moment got out of her car, and pushed the vehicle into the lake.
Smith’s case is important to understand when examining the Routier case. The Routier case happened on the heels of the national headlines where a mother pleaded innocence and for the life of her children while knowingly having murdered her children. People felt betrayed by this deception and in Routier’s case one could surmise that investigators, the jurors, the city had made up their minds to never be made fools of again by another self-centered, vapid woman who wanted to free herself of her children who were making it difficult to live her lavish lifestyle. They were not going to feel sorry for the bleached blond who’d had breast enhancements, and was living beyond her means, in debt to credit card companies, and behind on their mortgage, and thus, there would be no sympathy for Darlie Routier.
Never mind the wound to Routier’s neck which was 2mm away from slicing her carotid artery. To prosecutors and to several who had examined her at the hospital, one would think by their reaction that it was just a flesh wound and that the 2mm difference was as far away as the sock that had been thrown 75 yards away from the house. When in fact the 2mm difference is about the size of the head of a sharpened pencil, and had it been cut there’d be no trial for Routier because she would have most likely died while still lying on the couch.
The lies and deception of Susan Smith, who could on command openly weep and plead for the return of her children and had duped an entire nation when she confessed meant there was no way this bubbly “bimbo” who had the audacity to smile and laugh and spray “silly string” at her dead son’s grave would ever receive a fair trial. Her fate had been sealed, and even if the news crews had filmed her fainting and crying and wailing and gnashing her teeth instead of spraying “silly string” it wouldn’t have mattered it would have all been an act.
So it’s no surprise that the forensic evidence supported the theory that Routier premeditated the crime, cut the screen to the window in the garage, then killed her children, disposed of a sock 75 yards from her home, returned, then cut her own neck, stabbed her arm and her chest, and caused bruising that covered her hands to her elbow on one arm, then proceeded to stage the crime scene to look like an intruder had broken in and called 911 while the crime scene was still fresh, and no blood had coagulated and one of her son’s still clinging to life and had he lived could have pointed out his mother as the person who stabbed him, again never minding the fact that a mere 2mm’s to the right Routier would have bled out and there’d be no need to write about this.
Therefore using the Modified Schrodinger’s Cat Thought Experiment Methodology (MSCTEM), the purpose of the examination is to reexamine the known facts of this particular case. The MSCTEM has been established as a tool to examine missing persons, unsolved homicide, and unidentified body cases in attempt to create a profile of a possible suspect(s), identify a unclaimed body, or help determine how a person became missing and what steps may be utilized to locate the missing person.
Although, the state of Texas considers the Darlie Routier case and the deaths of her two children as “solved” and the suspect, Routier, has been arrested, tried and convicted and sentenced to death, this report will re-examine the state’s evidence against Routier. This report will be non-biased and will rule out Routier as suspect if the facts substantiate this. However, if the facts substantiate the case against Routier, this report will make that conclusion.
In the Routier case there are three primary suspects:
- Darlie Routier
- Darrin Routier
- Unknown male suspect(s)
Location: Rowlett, Texas middle class neighborhood (Suburb of Dallas) 2 story home end of cul-de-sac at 5801 Eagle Drive.
Date and Time: June 6, 1996 231AM
Brief Summary of Crime and Darlie Routier’s Conviction: On the night of Wednesday June 5th, 1996 Darlie Routier, her husband Darrin, and their three sons six year old Devon, five year old son Damon, and the youngest son 7 month old Drake were at home watching television. They made popcorn and the two oldest boys retrieved their blankets from upstairs and stayed up with their mother to watch a movie. Darrin took the youngest son upstairs and they fell asleep. Darlie and her two eldest sons stayed in the living room and fell asleep.
According to Darlie at some point she was awakened by her son Devon pushing her shoulder and she witnessed a man in her home. The man took off running and ran out of the house, dropping the murder weapon, and broke a glass. The house was dark and Darlie turned on the lights and only then realized that she was covered in blood and so were her two boys and she began screaming.
Darrin, asleep upstairs, woke up to the sound of breaking glass, and then heard his wife screaming. He hurried downstairs. Darrin states everything was happening so fast and he hadn’t noticed the injuries to Darlie, but realized his youngest son, although severely injured was still alive, and began doing CPR. As he did, blood gushed from the wounds. Darlie called 911 around the same time and was on the phone with operators for about 6 minutes. Officers arrived at the scene around three or four minutes after Darlie made the call to 911 and immediately secured the home in case the intruder was still inside. Finding no one in the house besides the family, the officers allowed paramedics to enter the home. Devin was pronounced dead at the scene, while Damon and Darlie were rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, Damon was pronounced dead, and Darlie was rushed to surgery and would survive although she also had multiple injuries.
Crime scene investigators began looking for evidence soon after. Multiple investigators made statements that from the outset it appeared to them that the crime scene was staged. Investigators noted that Darlie had made it known during the call to 911 that she had touched the knife prior to police arriving to explain why her prints would be on the weapon. They also noticed that at the kitchen sink blood from Darlie had dripped down the cabinet doors and after utilizing Luminal on the sink the tests showed that the sink had been cleaned where blood had been present. This suggested to investigators that Darlie had most likely cut her neck and caused the other injuries to herself at the sink, and then attempted to clean up the blood.
The murder weapon was a knife taken from inside the Routier home from a butcher’s block. Investigators argued that if the intruder’s intent were to kill, the intruder would have most likely brought their own weapon as opposed to using what was inside the home. They also noted that while there was jewelry and other valuables in plain sight, nothing appeared to have been stolen. Blood spatter evidence also suggested that blood on the back of Darlie’s shirt was that of her two sons and they speculated that the only way the blood could have formed where it was on her shirt was if she were wielding the knife, stabbing her children, and the blood drops came from the knife as she lifted it over her head as she was swinging.
Darlie remained in the hospital for two days and after she was released she and her husband were interrogated on several occasions. The two came voluntarily and without a lawyer. Investigators claim that Darlie changed her version of how the events unfolded at least three times during those interviews but never arrested her.
On what would have been their eldest son’s Devon’s seventh birthday, the Routier family and several friends celebrated the boy’s birthday posthumously at his gravesite. They decorated the gravestone with balloons. A local news channel filmed a portion of the event that showed Darlie smiling and laughing and singing Happy Birthday as she and another person sprayed “Silly String” on the graves of her two recently murdered boys
This video was shown on the nightly news and many people, including the district attorney were “disgusted” by what they believed was an evil, self centered mother, behaving inappropriately just days after her sons’ were brutally murdered.
A few days after the segment aired on television Darlie was arrested and charged with the murder of only her youngest son because in the state of Texas because of his age, it would allow the state to seek capital punishment.
The trial lasted for about five weeks, and arguably one of the most crucial pieces of evidence examined by jurors was the news cast of the Routier family celebrating her son’s birthday at the cemetery. After the jury deliberated for a day and a half, and having asked to review the video tape of the party several times, the jury elected to find Darlie Routier guilty and she was subsequently sentenced to die by lethal injection.
Darlie remains on death row as of 22 years later, and only recently in the last few months after a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Routier to test the evidence 8 years ago has the state of Texas allowed for new testing on DNA and fingerprint evidence to begin.
Darlie and Darrin stayed married until 2011 when they divorced amicably according to several reports. Darrin still supports his wife’s innocence.
The Motive According to the State of Texas:
Although the Routier’s appeared to be living the American Dream on the outside, law enforcement found evidence that the Routier’s were deeply in debt. Darrin had started an electronics company in Texas and was doing quite well, allowing them to build a very nice home in an affluent suburb of Dallas near the lake. They purchased expensive vehicles and a boat, and traveled often. At some point however, Darrin’s business slowed, and they fell behind on credit card and mortgage payments and had been recently refused a loan.
Investigators also found Darlie’s journal and discovered an entry made by her in May of 1995 in which she wrote about contemplating suicide. Law enforcement believed that Darlie was an unhappy stay at home mom, and believed her son’s were preventing her from living a frivolous, carefree life, and overtime became angry blaming her sons for her predicament and concocted a plan to murder them and stage the crime as a burglary gone wrong.
The state ruled Darlie’s husband out as a suspect knowing Darrin had been in bed during the crime, and there was no blood evidence showing he had been involved in the murder of his two eldest sons.
The State’s Theory of Motive is Problematic:
One would be hard pressed to find another case in which a mother has been convicted of a capital murder utilizing a theory the state of Texas has established as Routier’s motive. In fact one of the only cases that fit the state of Texas’s operating theory is the murder of 10 year old Joel Kirkpatrick in 1997. Kirkpatrick’s parents were divorced, and on the morning of October 13th, he was with his mother Julie Rea per the visitation arrangement at her home in Lawrenceville, Illinois. Rea woke up when she heard screaming and as she went to her son’s room she encountered an intruder who began beating her. The intruder used a knife found inside the home and dropped it when confronted by Rea.
As in the Routier case, Rea was the primary suspect in the stabbing death of her 10 year old son. Her case was also built on circumstantial evidence and blood spatter evidence in which an “expert” deemed Rea were wielding the knife. The state also assassinated her character, using the fact that at one time she had wanted to have an abortion.
Rea was convicted by a jury of her peers, but was not sentenced to death. When her case was profiled on television an author who had worked on a book about a serial killer named Tommy Lynn Sells recognized Sells MO and on a hunch she wrote the serial killer who was on death row in Texas for rape and murder and suspected of anywhere between 10 to 70 murders across the United States. Sells wrote the author back and informed her that he had killed a boy in Illinois and had been startled when his mother entered the room and dropped the knife, beat her and ran away. As a result, the state of Illinois overturned Rea’s conviction and she was freed from prison.
The prosecution in Routier’s case has claimed that Routier has “selective amnesia” a sarcastic way of saying she chooses to forget specific details of the case when she is cornered about details of the crime. In Rea’s case however, she did see her attacker and described him in detail and she was still convicted. Nevertheless if you review the case against Susan Smith, she also was able to identify the African-American man who took her car and kidnapped her two children, although in Smith’s case she fabricated the entire story.
In Routier’s case it was not one specific piece of evidence that led to her conviction, but the totality of evidence put together that built a relatively strong circumstantial case. However, most would argue it was the video of Routier celebrating her son’s birthday eight days after the murder that the DA claimed was as if Routier was “dancing on her son’s grave”, that sealed her fate.
However, what prosecutors did not show the jury was where law enforcement had actually “bugged” the gravesite and videotaped the Routier’s earlier at the cemetery before the news media arrived and filmed the infamous “Silly String” footage. The reason this was not shown in court is there had been no warrant given to bug the Routier’s. Law enforcement did so because they believed maybe they would catch the Routier’s confessing to the crime at the grave. That did not happen and instead what they filmed and what they heard was the exact opposite of a mother “dancing on her children’s graves and instead witnessed and heard a grieving family lamenting the loss of their child. Video of police Surveillance not shown in court
In fact, one of the jurors has gone on record to say if they had viewed the video that was secretly taped by law enforcement they would have most likely voted to not convict Routier.
Another crucial piece of evidence not heard by the jury was the testimony of one forensic expert who after reviewing Damon Routier’s autopsy stated that due to the severity of his wounds and the blood loss as a result, from the time he sustained his injuries he would have only lived 9 minutes. The prosecution was aware this would have most likely gone against their theory because their argument is Routier, after stabbing Damon left her home, ran 75 yards to plant the sock, ran back 75 yards, caused the multiple injuries to herself, then contacted 911 which she was on the phone with for nearly 6 minutes. During Routier’s call and at the time first responders arrived at the Routier home Devon was still alive. This would mean that Routier would have had at the most three minutes to perform all these actions after she stabbed her son.
The financial motive also seems in question because although there was life insurance on both sons, the amount was $10,000 dollars and the funeral costs approximately $14,000 dollars. However, the life insurance policy against Routier was nearly half a million dollars, so it would seem if this crime was financially motivated that Darrin Routier would have had a motivating factor to kill his wife, or Darlie Routier would have had motivation for killing her husband, but there’d be no motive to kill the children.
The prosecution’s push to arrest Routier without further examining other aspects of the case was rushed, and the push to bring her to trial and convict was also done within 6 months from the day Routier called 911. This does not mean the prosecution’s case is wrong, but what it does suggest, most especially in a capital punishment case, is that it begs the question as to if law enforcement and prosecution rushed to judgment focusing on Routier within minutes of arriving at the home in Rowlett, Texas and as a consequence created an environment of Group Think in which the case against Routier was nothing more than a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. Although there is evidence to suggest something more sinister may have taken place at the home and Darlie Routier was a victim, by rushing the case to arrest and convict it gives the appearance that police and prosecutors purposefully overlooked any evidence that would show Routier is innocent.
The 911 Call:
Listen to 911 Call Here: 911 Call
Darlie Routier contacted 911 at approximately 231AM. The case against Routier has postulated there is evidence in the taped conversation pointing towards Routier’s guilt by claiming the call is scripted. Prosecutors point to the statement Routier makes about having found a knife and had picked it up then later states the police may have been able to get the prints off the knife if she hadn’t have picked it up.
However, when reviewing the transcript it seems that when Routier makes this statement she is talking to police who have already entered the home and is making the police, not the 911 operator aware that the intruder had gone into the garage but had dropped the knife. The 911 operator hears Routier make this statement and informs Routier not to touch anything, and only then does Routier make the statement she had already touched it and picked it up. This conversation between 911, Routier and what appears to be an officer who has already arrived in the house and begins searching the home for the intruder in the garage happens at 4 minutes into the conversation.
When reading the transcript and listening to the recorded 911 call, it appears Routier is speaking at times to the operator, at other times to her husband who has come down stairs after waking up to her screaming, and then later to the first officers who arrived at the home, as well as speaking to her son Devon who at this time is still alive and she is telling him to “Hold on”.
First responders on the scene did not allow paramedics into the home on arrival, because first responders were unsure if the intruder was still inside the home or not. The scene is chaotic, and Routier wants paramedics tending to her son, while police need to secure the home and it seems that there is a miscommunication between Routier and the 911 operator.
The taped call is difficult to listen to as Darlie Routier is clearly hysterical, and how any person can conclude that anything Routier is saying is scripted, or that Routier is “acting” seems to be a matter of that person’s assumption of guilt or innocence.
If one believes the call is being acted out by a cold-blooded killer and the call is scripted then that’s assumedly what they will hear. On the flip side, if one assumes that Darlie is innocent then what they will hear assumedly is an hysterical mother begging for help after she’s been stabbed and beat up by an unknown intruder and is watching her babies dying right in front of her as she talks to the operator, her husband, comforts her child who is bleeding, speaking to the first officer on the scene, and all this while she is severely injured and bleeding all in the span of about 5 minutes.
This report believes the call is subjective and is dependent on a person’s assumption of Routier’s guilt or innocence.
Also, it is important to note that while Darlie Routier is talking to 911 her youngest son is still alive. This is an important detail especially for someone who the state of Texas claims just stabbed her son, but during the call is begging for an ambulance to save her son who had he lived could have pointed his own mother out as the person who stabbed him.
It is important also not to forget that Darlie’s throat has been cut, she is bleeding profusely from several injuries, and most likely may be in shock from her wounds and from the trauma of witnessing her sons dying.
Again, listening to this call from the perspective assuming Routier is guilty one may ask why is it important to note that she may have inadvertently tampered with evidence. At the same time, listening to this call from the perspective that Routier is innocent, one may surmise that at the time she believes she is dying from her wounds and she wants to assist law enforcement with details of the crime to aid in their investigation in case she does not survive, but wants the person who committed this crime to be caught and arrested for killing her babies.
This call is important because it may have directly influenced investigators from the outset in which they believed the call was scripted and then sought to qualify this by looking for evidence that would fit their predetermined belief that Routier was guilty.
If in this case law enforcement are allowed to hypothesize that Routier stabbed her sons as a cold blooded killer, then one would be fair to test this hypothesis by asking if Routier’s goal was to murder her children, why would she contact 911 while her youngest son is still alive and beg 911 to hurry and bring an ambulance and save him?
The idea that the absence of evidence supporting an intruder entered the home is a nuanced debate that suggests if an intruder were in the house there’d be overwhelming evidence the intruder was there.
This report supports there was evidence of an intruder because investigators were informed that an intruder had entered the home as a result of the call Darlie Routier made to 911. Furthermore, Darlie qualifies this visual observation to police of her having witnessed this intruder with physical evidence of the multiple wounds and bruising on her body made by an unknown intruder. These two facts alone are evidence supporting an intruder had entered the home. The only way to disqualify this evidence is to make the argument that Routier not only lied about her visual observation of an intruder inside her home, but then for law enforcement to qualify this observation by discounting the extent of her injuries and opine that she inflicted the injuries to herself.
This report also suggests that once law enforcement committed to the theory that Routier lied about the intruder within a few minutes of arriving on scene to investigate the crime, any evidence that proved otherwise such as the injuries to Routier, the fact that had she stabbed her sons yet called 911 while one was still alive and could have pointed her out as the person who stabbed him when she could have waited until after her son was dead before making the call, the next leap for law enforcement once they’ve centered on Routier as the suspect most especially in a capital crime case is nothing more than a paint by the numbers lackadaisical investigation.
Furthermore, in 2008 a federal court ruled in favor of Routier in allowing her defense attorneys to test the fingerprint evidence, and DNA evidence due to the advances in DNA technology since 1996. However, the state of Texas waited another ten years to allow Routier’s defense team to begin analyzing the data under terms established by the state of Texas.
If the state of Texas is absolutely certain that Routier is guilty, why would the state of Texas have any issues with any person testing their hypothesis that may or may not lead to another conclusion?
In fact, as a result of this reluctance by the state of Texas to have their hypothesis tested independently further supports this reports finding that from the outset investigators and prosecutors failed to investigate the possibility of an unknown intruder, most likely made multiple missteps along their investigation that may have contaminated evidence that was used during the trial to convict Routier, and knowingly are obstructing justice in order to justify their self fulfilling prophecy that Routier and Routier alone is guilty.
And if this is true, and as the DA has stated in multiple interviews that if in fact the courts were to overturn Routier’s conviction he would be prepared to prosecute her again, using the same evidence and would convict her again, why are they reluctant to allow the defense to retest the evidence if they are this confident in their case?
The argument this report is making is not that Routier did not receive a fair trial, but that she was the victim of a biased investigation from the outset and the prosecution rushed to arrest, rushed to trial, and used biased evidence to convict her.
Unfortunately this report cannot sufficiently rule out Darlie Routier as a suspect in this particular case based on the fact that investigators did not examine other possibilities faithfully and judicially to examine the unknown intruder theory. This report does however beseech the courts to overturn Darlie Routier’s conviction based on the fact that this being a capital punishment case, the state did not and could not have in the 6 months from the time Routier made the 911 call to her being convicted have exhausted all avenues to rule out Darrin Routier or an unknown intruder as being responsible for the murders of Devon and Damon Routier and the attempted murder of Darlie Routier.
This report suggests that the case be re-opened and all the evidence reevaluated and after this is complete if prosecutors still believe they have a case against Routier, retry her and allow a jury to not only examine the new evidence allow them also to justify the original guilty verdict or admonish the prosecution in rushing to judgment in the original trial and allow Routier to go free by finding her not guilty.
As a legal term the evidence against a defendant must be beyond a reasonable doubt to validate a criminal conviction. If in the Routier case there were no reasonable doubt to suggest she is innocent of the crimes she was convicted of, this report suggests that the DA’s case was flawed from the outset and centered on Routier from the time she made the call to 911 and dismissed with extreme prejudice any evidence of Routier’s evidence by ignoring the possibility that Darrin Routier may have had a motive to murder his wife and kids because he had a financial motivation in which he would have collected life insurance against Darlie. Investigators also dismissed the unknown intruder theory even though there had been multiple reports made my neighbors of someone in a black car that had been seen stalking the Routier residence in the days leading up to the murders, and on the day of the murder.
Hypothesis 1: Unknown Intruder:
Examining the unknown intruder hypothesis, one has to examine possible motives. It’s possible that the intruder entered the home to rob the house and was surprised to find the two children and Darlie asleep in the living room. Still, if this is the case and the catalyst was to rob the home once the intruder encountered the Routier family in the home, the intruder could have turned around and left the scene. Instead of leaving however, the intruder takes a knife from the kitchen and decides instead to murder the family.
When examining the crime scene, the location of the home and other factors however, another hypothesis is that the victims, whether it is Darlie or the two boys were targeted and the motive was to assault, physically or sexually, and had premeditated the murder.
Two possibilities emerge from examining this hypothesis:
- The intruder lived within walking distance of the home and knew the victims
- The intruder may have had other reasons for having been in the neighborhood when he spotted the Routier family and then targeted the home.
Several witnesses described seeing a suspicious person driving a black car stalking the neighborhood, and not just the neighborhood but the Routier home specifically in the days before the murder, and more importantly the car was spotted near the Routier home on the day of the murders and neighbors reported this to police.
The Routier residence is in a subdivision with only a few ways into it and directly behind their home is a narrow paved ally that is primarily used by residence to enter their homes from the back way where the garages to the houses are located. The Routier home is located at the end of a cul-de-sac, surrounded by homes and is not necessarily remote even if one could suggest that the neighborhood subdivision has few points of entry and the part of Rowlett Texas where the neighborhood is located appears as if on a peninsula surrounded by Lake Ray Hubbard.
The city of Dallas is approximately 20 miles from the town of Rowlett. However, Garland Texas is five miles and has a population of over 200,000 residents as of 2016. Although Dallas County and Rockwall County do have higher than average crime rates, and multiple of unsolved murder cases mostly in Dallas County, these statistics do not specifically relate to the crime rate in Rowlett as being relevant to better understanding the events that unfolded in the Routier home in 1996.
There are no reported clusters of crimes in this particular area involving murder, but a possible 1-50 chance of home burglary.
It is difficult to arrive to a determination as to whether the unknown intruder lived near the Routier residence. It is possible the unknown intruder lived in the neighborhood and only needed to walk a reasonable distance to the Routier home, but it is also possible the unknown intruder lived outside of the neighborhood, wherewith the person needed a vehicle to access the Routier home.
In either example it is possible to hypothesize that the intruder could have been stalking the home for several days, if not weeks casing the house in and out of a vehicle. The alley way behind the Routier home could have been used for an individual in a car to park perhaps in a driveway where no resident lived and then walked to the home.
Nevertheless, the driver of this vehicle in doing so takes a risk of being spotted by parking a car in the area and not be reported as being suspicious. However, it’s possible that the time of night, most residents were sleeping and would not have noticed if a car had parked at some point in the alley. One cannot rule out the possibility that the suspect parked in the driveway of the Routier home also.
According to reports the Routier family had parked both of their vehicles inside the garage that particular night giving the intruder the ability to pull directly into the driveway that faces the alley.
The reason this important to note is because 75 yards from the Routier home a sock belonging to Darrin Routier, that had blood on it belonging to Devon and Damon was left on the ground in the alleyway three houses away from the Routier home on the left hand side of the road.
This would fit a scenario of a person driving and possibly throwing the sock out of the car as it left the scene from the driver’s side window as the intruder drove south away from the scene of the crime down the alley. However, it also suggests that a person on foot running away from the crime scene threw the sock attempting to throw it into the storm drain but missed and the sock landed on the grass instead. If on foot, it’s possible the person lived in the neighborhood and ran back to their home, but one cannot rule out that the suspect had driven into the neighborhood and parked south of the Routier home in the alley at an abandoned lot. The suspect threw the sock, ran to the car, and then drove away leaving the neighborhood.
Another important factor is examining whether the crime was opportunistic or if the suspect had been stalking the home prior to the night of the murders. Darlie Routier has stated that since her boys had been out of school they would often sit up at night and sleep in the family room by themselves. On the night of the murders however, she decided to spend time with them and sleep downstairs.
If this is true, one could speculate that the intruder had previously targeted the home and had perhaps been in their backyard and viewed the two boys in the family room through the back window that faced the back yard and the alley. The suspect would have either had to jump over a picket fence or go through a door at the north of the fence facing the driveway and enter.
As the intruder looked through the window, the family room was situated with the television facing the south wall. The couch that Darlie was sleeping on, the back of it faced the west wall meaning that if an intruder had looked into the window on the night of the murders he would not have seen Darlie in the room but only the boys.
On the night of the murders, examining the scenario in which an unknown intruder had previously stalked the home and witnessed the two boys sleeping in the living room, the intruder enters the fence, looks into the room but does not see Darlie, only the boys as per usual. The intruder enters the home through the garage/laundry room, grabs the knife from the kitchen counter, enters the family room and goes directly to Devon who is lying closest to the television.
The intruder turns to see Damon waking up Darlie on the couch and lunges towards them; Darlie struggles with the attacker leaving little blood evidence but becomes unconscious during the attack and blacks out. Believing Darlie is dead, the killer then goes after Damon. While attacking Damon, Darlie wakes up again in a haze and the killer hastily leaves the scene with Darlie in a state of shock and confused follows after him and she or the intruder breaks the glass and knocks over the vacuum in the dark. The killer drops the knife and Darlie picks it up and places it on the counter.
Darlie turns on the light and realizes she is covered in blood and then notices her son’s have also been attacked. She begins screaming, and grabs the phone to contact 911. Darrin comes down the stairs and begins CPR on Devin. She moves to the sink and looks into the window to see her wounds and begins wetting towels for Darrin to use for Devin and Damon or for her to use on her own wounds.
By this time, the intruder is out of the house, through the fence runs south down the alley or jumps in his car parked in the Routier driveway, drives south down the alleyway and tosses the sock and either returns to a house nearby or if on foot goes to his car and leaves the area immediately before police respond.
This hypothesis will be labeled as Operational Theory 1 Unknown Intruder/Motive to Harm Routier Children.
Operational Theory 1: The Bloody Sock Evidence
This operational theory suggests that an unknown intruder, most likely a white male, had been targeting the Routier home and more importantly the children.
One of the most vital clues in understanding the validity of this operational theory is the sock disposed three houses away in the alley between homes on Eagle Drive and Willowbrook Drive. The sock was found near a drainage ditch and a trash can on the grass. The sock had blood from Damon and Devon, and belonged to their father Darrin.
The prosecution’s case made the argument that Darlie, after stabbing her children, ran out of her yard, 75 yards away, deposited the sock on the grass, then ran back 75 yards to the home and then created the injuries to herself.
However, this goes against the blood spatter experts testimony that Darlie had been bleeding at the time she stabbed her boys, because he stated that their blood had mixed. This also goes directly against the sock evidence that contains only Devon and Damon’s blood, because there is no blood evidence leading away from the home which Darlie would have left if she had been bleeding and made the 150 yard round trip, and her blood was not discovered on the sock.
To explain this, prosecutors opined Darlie stabbed both of her children, left the home with the sock containing their blood, ran back to the house, cut herself and realized that Damon was still alive and went back and stabbed him again and this is how the blood cross contaminated.
Still, at the time Darlie contacts 911, and even after the first responders arrived at the home, Damon was still alive.
Investigators have also gone on to state that just outside the window where Darlie stated the intruder exited the home, they found no evidence of anyone coming in through the window or out the window and stated there was mulch just outside the window that would have been disturbed if someone had entered or exited there. This evidence is contradicted by Darrin Routier when a few years later he showed reporters the window and how easy it was to step in and out of, and that there was no mulch for anyone to disturb. Another point made by investigators that contradict their own theory is that if they found no evidence of an intruder leaving the home, but in doing so, how can they also find no evidence of Darlie leaving the home either? This poses a fundamental problem to the state of Texas’s case against Routier, because the sock had to be deposited from someone within the home after the attack.
By using the MSCTEM which poses the hypothesis of there being a cat inside an enclosed box, if this hypothesis is correct, then one should find the cat inside the box. If one opens the box and there is no cat inside the box, this leads to negative evidence relative to the hypothesis statement established by law enforcement as opposed to the hypothesis of the absence of evidence of there being no unknown intruder.
Darlie Routier’s statement to police was that an intruder broke into her home and attacked her and her children. However, when the police investigate the crime they state there is no evidence of an unknown intruder having been in the home. Therefore, the sock should be inside the home and not 75 yards away. If law enforcement states that there was no evidence that anyone in the house had left the home, this would have to include Darlie; as a result, the sock being out of the home becomes negative evidence relative to their own hypothesis.
Because the sock is found outside of the home and with the blood from the two Routier children, this is evidence that someone from inside the home left the home and deposited the sock and as a consequence it no longer fits the hypothesis of the absence of evidence of an unknown intruder posited by law enforcement and the prosecution’s case against Darlie Routier.
Darrin Routier as Primary Suspect Theory:
Over time attorneys, journalists, and private investigators have investigated Darlie Routier’s case there has been growing speculation of Darrin Routier’s involvement in this crime because of his acknowledgement of attempting to procure someone to burglarize his home in order to commit insurance fraud. Darlie Routier and Darrin Routier divorced in 2011 and in an interview Darlie Routier has stated that if she were released from prison she would not reunite with her husband based on learning of her husband having sought someone to break into their home.
Also, one has to note that Darrin was losing money as his business suffered, and was behind on his bills, credit card payments and mortgage, while raising three children and supporting his wife who was a stay at home mom. There are reports suggesting that Darrin had a life insurance policy on Darlie between the ranges of half a million to eight-hundred thousand dollars.
In 1997, Darrin Routier volunteered to take a polygraph examination and failed the test miserably as to his involvement in the murders of his son’s and the attempted murder of his wife. Although, Polygraph examinations are not conclusive in determining a person’s innocence or guilt, it is an invaluable tool law enforcement can use when interrogating a suspect.
Darrin Routier has admitted to attempting to procure someone to fake a burglary into his home, he states that he never hired anyone. However, one has to suggest had this been known during his wife’s trial, it may have shown reasonable doubt to the jury.
Over the years, Darlie Routier has been adamant that her husband was not the man that attacked her and killed their two eldest sons. This information is somewhat contradictory if Darlie has suffered from dissociative amnesia and cannot remember vital details about the crime and attacker.
If Darlie was unaware of her husband’s attempt to procure someone to break into their home this shows that Darrin was keeping secrets from his wife showing his capacity and willingness to lie and commit a criminal act of insurance fraud.
Another piece of information that may prove vital is that on the night of the murders, first responders noted that both Darlie and Darrin were barefoot. However, when investigators asked to examine Darrin’s shoes they found Darlie’s blood on his shoes.
Examining Darrin’s possible involvement in the murder of his two eldest son’s and the attempted murder of his wife does not necessarily imply he personally committed the crimes, but may have procured someone to commit the crime expecting a huge financial windfall had Darlie been killed.
Even so, this report will examine whether or not Darrin would have been capable of committing the murders and the attempted murder of his wife the night of June 6th and been able to cover-up his involvement.
This will be labeled Hypothesis 2: Darrin Routier as Primary Suspect/Motive: Murder/Insurance Fraud.
There are multiple problematic issues to come to a conclusion that Darrin Routier would have been able to commit this crime. If his motivation was to murder his wife in order to collect insurance on her life, one would surmise he would have been fully committed to making sure Darlie did not survive the attack.
Thus, this hypothesis will be ruled out.
However, this does not eliminate Darrin Routier as being involved as a conspirator in a murder-for-hire scenario and this will be labeled as Hypothesis 3.
Hypothesis 3: Darrin Routier as Primary Suspect with Co-Conspirator/Motive: Murder-for-Hire/Insurance Fraud:
Based on information that Darrin Routier actively attempted to procure someone to break into his home to steal furniture and a car prior to the murders, and because he would have profited from the death of his wife one has to examine the hypothesis that Darrin Routier conspired with someone to commit the crimes on June 6th 1996.
Although Darrin Routier has admitted to his willingness to break the law due to his financial insecurities, and this fact may have contributed to their being divorced in 2011, it shows he is willing to commit a crime for financial gain and establishes a possible motive in conspiring with someone to murder his wife.
As with hypothesis 2, hypothesis 3 is problematic. If the motive were to kill Darlie Routier, and her husband conspired with an unknown person to murder her, one would have to speculate that on the evening of June 5th Darrin would have had to make contact with the co-conspirator and plan the crime.
According to Darlie’s own testimony she admitted it was her choice to sleep downstairs the night she and her family were attacked. However it is possible that Darrin planted the idea and Darlie accepted.
Before going to bed, Darrin could have opened the window to the garage and cut the screen and given the co-conspirator information about the interior of the house and how to make entry.
Even so, if Darrin and a co-conspirator had conspired to murder his wife and sons (one has to speculate that if this scenario is plausible then Darrin Routier would have known his sons would be sleeping downstairs also) had Darlie died as a result of her injuries one could argue that even though she lived, Darrin’s involvement should have been properly investigated by police as a primary suspect.
However, Darrin Routier has been a leading advocate proclaiming Darlie’s innocence. At any point over the last 22 years he could have turned against Darlie and informed police that he believed his wife were responsible for the murders and testified against her.
Darlie Routier’s defense teams as well as her supporters have spent several thousand dollars over the last 22 years to find any evidence to support her innocence and in doing so have investigated Darrin Routier’s possible involvement and insofar have found little evidence to support hypothesis 3, besides learning of his attempts to procure someone to break into their home to commit insurance fraud.
Thus, this hypothesis cannot be ruled out and will be labeled as Operational Theory 2.
Final Report: Darlie Routier Convicted on Faulty Circumstantial Evidence:
This report based on evidentiary facts known about the case of the State of Texas vs. Darlie Routier on the count of Capital Murder stipulates the state of Texas erred in its conclusion that Darlie Routier murdered her two children and then staged the crime to appear that she too was a victim of an unknown intruder.
The report has based these conclusions on the fact that investigators failed to
A. investigate allegations her husband Darrin Routier’s attempted to conspire with others to commit insurance fraud prior to the crime.
B. completely discarded the evidence pointing to an unknown intruder although there is substantial evidence including unidentified fingerprints that did not match anyone in the home or investigators, shoe prints, and the sock discovered 75 yards from the Routier residence.
C. Darlie Routier’s was a victim of character assassination by prosecutors and relied on controversial footage of her celebrating her son’s birthday, but jurors were not made aware of surveillance footage filmed by police earlier in the day showing a somber and emotional gathering at her sons’ graves.
D. The blood evidence was contaminated by investigators who bagged clothing still wet with blood before allowing the shirt to dry and as a result the controversial blood spatter experts testimony as to how the blood of Devin and Damon Routier mixed with their mother’s blood on her shirt was biased.
E. the 911 call Routier made on the night of the murders is subjective.
F. Furthermore, the 911 call indicates that Routier was speaking to at least four people and statements she made are taken out of context, in which Routier did not script the call, but was speaking with two people being asked questions in a very chaotic crime scene. It is clear that Routier is directing the first responder to the home about where the intruder had exited, and in doing so she pointed out the knife the unidentified suspect dropped. The 911 operator is unaware a police officer was already in the Routier residence and when the operator hears Routier make the statement about the knife informs Routier to not touch anything, and only then does Routier state she has already picked up the knife.
G. The bloodied sock found 75 yards from the Routier home contradicts investigators and prosecutors who state there was no evidence of any person, unknown or even Routier from having left the house. The sock is proof that someone within the Routier home left the home running away from the crime scene.
H. The bloodied sock found 75 yards from the Routier home contradicts the original timeline of events presented by investigators from the controversial blood spatter testimony that Darlie Routier first stabbed her sons, left the home and ran 75 yards, returned back to the home making a roundtrip of 150 yards, then stabbed herself. The controversial blood spatter expert determined that in order for Devin and Damon’s blood to have crossed contaminated with their mothers, she had to have created the injuries to herself prior to stabbing her children while the sock is found with blood from Devon and Damon only.
I. Expert testimony from a forensic examiner when questioned about the severity of Damon’s wounds speculated that as a result of the injuries and the loss of blood Damon would have most likely died within 9 minutes. However, this contradicts evidence by First Responders and collaborated by the 911 call that Damon Routier was still alive. This also disputes the credibility of the prosecutor’s timeline because the 911 call lasted nearly six minutes, in which Devon was still alive, and it was another one or two minutes before first responders secured the home and allowed paramedics to enter.
J. During the 911 call Darlie Routier is clearly aware that her youngest son is still alive and is heard telling her son to “hold on” and she is also heard asking why an ambulance has not arrived and paramedics allowed to enter her home to treat her son’s wounds. If in fact Routier had committed these crimes, and had Devon survived his injuries he may have been able to collaborate his mother’s story that an unknown intruder had entered the home, or testified it was Darlie who had caused his injuries. This behavior does not seem indicative of a person who has just committed a heinous crime and yet at the same time is attempting to administer help to the person she had injured.
J. Darlie Routier’s wounds and bruises are indicative of someone attacking her and attempting to murder her as opposed to her creating the multiple injuries and bruising to herself. The fact that prosecutors seemingly dismiss the throat wound which came within 2mm from severing her carotid artery and instead make it appear that 2mm is merely coincidental is an absurd argument.
K. Darlie Routier had no motive to kill her son’s, no prior history of abuse, mental health issues, no financial motivation, and no criminal history. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find a similar case involving filicide wherewith the main motives behind these types of crime are: altruistic, maltreatment, unwanted child, or spousal revenge. There were no reports or signs of physical abuse prior to the murders, and no indication that Routier felt trapped by her children.
This report concludes that the Rowlett Police Department was overwhelmed by the brutality of the crime and their investigation was not thorough, their investigation was incomplete, chaotic and incoherent.
Once Rowlett Police centered in on Routier, they ignored and failed to follow through on evidence that pointed towards Routier’s innocence. Within thirty minutes of beginning the investigation it is clear that investigators had determined Routier was the primary suspect, and as a result their investigation was prejudiced from the outset.
Their investigation failed to find evidence that Darrin Routier had previously sought to procure someone to aid him in committing insurance fraud by burglarizing the Routier home and other property.
The investigation failed to investigate the various reports made by neighbors of a mysterious black car stalking the Routier home.
The investigation failed to properly secure the crime scene and properly store evidence gathered from the scene of the crime in which the state’s case against Routier is primarily based on and as result this evidence should be inadmissible.
Furthermore, the state has failed to examine crucial evidence including fingerprint evidence that indicate an unknown intruder had left a bloody fingerprint behind at the crime scene. Even more incredible is that although in 2008 a federal judge sided with Routier’s defense to make the fingerprint as well as DNA evidence available to her defense for further testing that may point to her innocence and towards the unknown intruder.
In fact it has taken 9 years and another court order recently handed down that again sided with Routier’s defense team ordering the state of Texas to hand over the aforementioned evidence to be tested. According to recent breaking news in the Routier case this evidence is finally close to being examined for the first time in 22 years since Darlie Routier was sentenced to death. Fingerprints in Routier case to be tested
Darlie Routier has always maintained her innocence and has even turned down a chance for clemency and have her sentence commuted to life when prosecutors attempted to grant her clemency only if she admitted to the crimes and she refused to do so.
The state of Texas’s refusal to turn over evidence that may prove Darlie Routier is innocent is not uncommon in a high profile case, but tends to show that those involved in investigating and prosecuting this case have prospered as a result of the conviction. If Darlie Routier’s case is overturned the state made be found liable for a wrongful conviction, and it would confirm this reports conclusion that prosecutors and law enforcement professionals were overwhelmed by the brutality of the crime, did not complete a thorough investigation and instead zeroed in on Routier and created an environment of “group think” and their investigation nothing more than a “self-fulfilling prophecy” based on personal prejudices of Routier, and their circumstantial case against her based on contaminated forensic evidence and controversial blood spatter testimony. Blood Spatter Faulty Science 1 Blood Spatter Faulty Science 2 Blood Spatter Faulty Science 3
It must also be noted that the blood spatter expert in Routier’s case has been involved in at least three other cases in which his testimony helped convict innocent people of crimes that were later overturned. Moreover, in 2009 the National Academy of Sciences noted that faulty science was found to be responsible for several wrongful convictions and specifically pointed out that Bloodstain Pattern Analysis was subjective and there is no empirical evidence to support the findings. In fact, the state of Texas’s Forensic Science commission has made it a requirement starting in 2019 that in order to testify as an expert witness as a bloodstain pattern analyst one must have proper accreditation in Texas courts. Source: Strengthening Forensic Science in the United States: A Path Forward, The National Academies Press, Washington DC (2009), pp. 42, 177-179.
Thus, as a result of this report’s findings Darlie Routier’s case should be re-opened, and her sentence overturned most especially considering this is a capital murder conviction based on faulty contaminated circumstantial evidence and law enforcement’s reluctance to investigate Darrin Routier’s attempts to procure an unknown person(s) to commit insurance fraud or follow up on the information that several eyewitnesses observed prior to and on the day of the crime a person in black car stalking the Routier home.
Operational Theory 1: Unknown Suspect
Crime Classification: 108.02 Situational Felony Murder—unplanned prior to commission of the felony. Homicide committed out of panic, confusion or impulse.
This report finds the evidence points towards an unknown suspect who acted impulsively having most likely stalked the Routier family and cased their home in the days leading up to the crime.
This report however, does not believe that the suspect was organized, but investigators were overwhelmed by the brutality of the crime and overlooked evidence, did not properly store evidence and as a result the evidence was contaminated and failed to investigate this matter thoroughly instead centering on Darlie Routier from the outset.
The report suggests that the primary suspect at the time of the murders will be between the ages of 18-25, white male and will have lived near the Routier’s or had come in contact with them from someone who lived in the neighborhood or the suspect lived in the neighborhood.
Operational Theory 2: Darrin Routier-Unknown Co-Conspirator:
Crime Classification 107.1: Individual Profit Murder
This report suggests that the individual profit murder is less likely when examining the evidence but cannot be ruled out because Darrin Routier has admitted to attempting to procure someone to stage a robbery for the purpose of insurance fraud prior to the crimes on June 6th 1996.
The individual profit murder is problematic because Darrin Routier would have most likely been in contact with the co-conspirator the day of the murder or the night of after his wife chose to sleep downstairs.
This would suggest that the plan was improvised and the co-conspirator was on standby waiting for Routier to call.
As in Operational Theory 1, this theory cannot be ruled out because law enforcement failed to investigate Darrin Routier’s involvement although investigators noted early on in the investigation Darrin Routier had a financial motivation, but failed to investigate further by centering on his wife.
In fact it was Darlie Routier’s defense team along with private investigators who learned that Darrin Routier had attempted to commit insurance fraud prior to the murders. Had investigators completed a more thorough investigation into Darrin Routier’s activities and motivations they too would have had more incentive to suspect Darrin Routier as the primary suspect, but because they failed to do so this report cannot rule out Darrin Routier operating with a co-conspirator who together planned to murder Darlie Routier for profit.
Conclusion of Report:
Darlie Routier’s capital murder conviction is based on circumstantial evidence and proffered by faulty unaccredited scientific expert testimony. The case against Routier is biased, prejudicial and subjective.
There is no obvious or apparent motive for Darlie Routier to have committed filicide and murder her two eldest sons and then stage the crime scene. In fact, when comparing this case to similar cases, this report finds zero evidence of motive in which a mother without a catalyst has committed such a heinous and cold-blooded murder.
However, there are multiple examples of wrongful convictions based on investigators being overwhelmed by the brutality of a crime and will make faulty assumptions, contaminate or lose important forensic evidence; assassinate the suspects character when cases are circumstantial, and utilize unaccredited “experts” to validate their highly subjective conclusions. Furthermore, investigators and prosecutors even when presented with evidence opposing their case become defensive; will move to obstruct all attempts by the defense to re-examine evidence, and stonewall all appeals, while maintaining the case against the defendant is solid.
This report finds that the state of Texas’s case against Darlie Routier is more indicative of similar cases of wrongful conviction based on subjective assumptions and contaminated evidence, while discounting all evidence that pointed towards a Situational Felony Murder, or Individual Profit Murder.
This report shows that prosecutors have attempted to grant clemency to Darlie Routier if she confessed to the crime and she refused, stonewalling a federal court ruling to allow Routier’s defense team access to important forensic evidence for 10 years which again is indicative of similar wrongful convictions where prosecutors and investigators are in denial that their departments erred in its case against a defendant.
Furthermore this report believes that Darlie Routier’s case will most likely be overturned by new forensic testing of fingerprint and DNA evidence, but prosecutors will most likely reject this information and will attempt to procure an Alford Plea maintaining their case against Routier could be retried and she’d be found guilty, but will not want a protracted jury trial in which Routier may be found not guilty and the state be sued for wrongful conviction. Unless the forensic evidence directly points to a previously unknown suspect and the case is overturned and the DA moves to dismiss the charges against Routier altogether.
All theories on this page are my own and I do not represent law enforcement.