Death Row’s Women With Susanna Reid has left viewers divided tonight, over a mother who denies murdering her two sons.
Mother-of-three Darlie Routier, 48, has been awaiting execution in Texas for more than 20 years after her children Damon, five, and Devon, six, were stabbed to death on June 6, 1996, just a few feet away from where she was sleeping.
Housewife and former cheerleader Routier, who claims an intruder broke in on the night of the attack, was sentenced to death by legal injection for killing Damon and remains accused of murdering Devon.
Decades on however, Routier, now 50, has refused a route off Death Row in exchange for her accepting her guilt and insisted in the documentary, which aired tonight, that prosecutors ‘assassinated her character’ because they had ‘nothing else’.
Routier was painted as a ‘self-centred, evil’ woman who didn’t appear to show enough emotion and even ‘danced on her sons’ graves with Silly String’ during a birthday celebration for Devon’s seventh birthday, just a week after their deaths.
However, the notorious Silly String antics came at the end of an emotional two-hour memorial prayer service by the mourning family, which was filmed but never shown in court – despite jurors seeing footage of the graveside party eight times.
Death Row’s Women With Susanna Reid has left viewers divided tonight, over a mother who denies murdering her two sons. Pictured, spraying Silly String on grave of son
The notorious Silly String antics came at the end of an emotional two-hour memorial prayer service by the mourning family, which was filmed but never shown in court (pictured)
Pictured, Darlie Routier with Susanna Reid at the Mountain View Unit, Gatesville, Texas
Mother-of-three Darlie Routier (pictured holding her youngest son), 48, has been awaiting execution in Texas for more than 20 years after her children Damon, five, and Devon, six, (both circled) were stabbed to death on June 6, 1996
Viewers were left torn over the verdict, with writing: ‘A party at her son’s grave who was murdered 2 week before? Sick’ (pictured)
Viewers took to Twitter following the programme, with one writing: ‘You don’t know what to think though as there’s a lot of people in America that have been wrongly convicted. I am convinced this woman did kill her children though…judging by the body language she is displaying in this interview.’
A second said: ‘A party at her son’s grave who was murdered 2 week before? Sick, while a third agreed: ‘Guilty as sin, crying and not a single tear shed..’
Another questioned: ‘How did she get all that bruising? But what’s with the silly string? Who would do that! #confused.’
While a fourth added: ‘I don’t think she did it? But is that because I’m a mother and I can’t seem to understand how someone who had it all could do that? And the bruising etc how did she do all that herself!’
In the documentary Susanna goes on a journey, delving into the history of the case, meeting key witnesses and family members, to find out if Routier, based at Mountain View women’s prison, is as innocent as she claims.
Routier has spent the past two decades protesting her innocence, maintaining that an intruder entered the family’s home and attacked her sons, five and six, while they were asleep in front of the TV.
Housewife and former cheerleader Routier, who claims an intruder broke in on the night of the attack, was sentenced to death by legal injection for killing Damon and remains accused of murdering Devon. Pictured, Routier (right) being interviewed by Susanna Reid (left)
Darlie Routier (pictured) spraying silly string on the grave of her son
Routier was painted as a ‘self-centred, evil’ woman who didn’t appear to show enough emotion and even ‘danced on her sons’ graves with Silly String’ during a birthday celebration (pictured) for Devon’s seventh birthday, just a week after their deaths
Housewife and former cheerleader Routier (pictured being escorted into Mountain View unit in 1997), who claims an intruder broke in on the night of the attack, was sentenced to death by legal injection for killing Damon and remains accused of murdering Devon
Those who tuned in couldn’t decide whether they thought the mother was guilty (pictured)
However, a jury was convinced that the mother – who claims she didn’t wake up as the boys were stabbed – had fabricated the account and planted evidence to look like a burglar had been at the scene.
She was convicted of murdering her younger son, Damon, when she was 27-years-old in 1997. She was never tried for the murder of her eldest son Devon, as prosecutors wanted the option to pursue a second indictment should the first fail in court.
The inmate and her husband at the time Darin, who were married in 1988 before divorcing in 2011, enjoyed some success thanks to his business testing circuit boards and spent their newfound wealth on an upscale home alongside other luxuries.
But with the new purchases came hefty bills, and by May 1996 the Routiers were in financial trouble and owed two months of mortgage payments.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Routier was angry over the money problems and the burdens of motherhood, and that after killing her sons, she slashed herself to cover the crime.
Decades on however, Routier (pictured after the incident), now 50, has refused a route off Death Row in exchange for her accepting her guilt and insisted in the documentary, which aired tonight, that prosecutors ‘assassinated her character’ because they had ‘nothing else’
The mother suffered a slash to her neck and cuts to her shoulders (pictured in the hospital after the crime)
Copious amounts of blood around the sink suggested she cut her own throat next to the taps in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, the screen in the utility room was said to have been slashed with a bread knife kept in the family’s own knife block, which she placed back there after she’d created the damage to give the impression of an intruder.
The prosecution also repeatedly showed the court a video of Routier giggling, chewing gum and spraying Silly String on her sons’ graves on what would have been Devon’s seventh birthday.
She was charged for murder just days after the graveside celebration – with a clip of the party being shown over and over again on TV news programmes, and later to the jury in her trial eight times.
‘She was shooting Silly String on the graves – she didn’t seem concerned that these children had been murdered,’ said prosecutor Toby Shook. ‘The tape showed a very strange way to react to death.
The murders took place inside Darlie and Darin Routiers’ home in Rowlett, Texas (pictured), on the night of June 6, 1997
‘She was chewing gum, she wasn’t crying, and she looked like she was enjoying the attention. She didn’t have the demeanour of a mother whose children had been brutally murdered a few days before.’
But speaking to presenter Susanna, Routier insisted: ‘There’s not a book that tells you how to do this, how to grieve. We gave him the party he didn’t get to have. Everything we did was out of love.
‘This is something that no parent should ever have to do, no parent should have to bury their child.
‘They took something that was beautiful, they took something that was so innocent and made out of love, and they turned it into something ugly. It was twisted and taken out of context.’
Viewers of the documentary saw footage of an emotional two-hour memorial service by the grieving family, which came before the Silly String party but was never show in court.
Routier (pictured with her sons) has spent the past two decades protesting her innocence, maintaining that an intruder entered the family’s home and attacked her sons, five and six, while they were asleep in front of the TV
‘When you have nothing else, you go to character assassination,’ Routier said. ‘I’m being judged by people who did not know me.’
She added: ‘I’ve never had a mental illness. You don’t just snap and become crazy and then snap back and become normal.’
Her appeal lawyer Stephen Cooper appeared on the programme and insisted that Routier is innocent.
He said: ‘I am about as close to it as anyone else on Earth and I can tell you she didn’t do it.’
In his argument, he said the idea Routier slashed her own throat is ‘laughable’ since she was right-handed but the ‘near-fatal’ wound was inflicted, he claims, as if with her left hand.
However, a jury was convinced that the mother (pictured after the crime) – who claims she didn’t wake up as the boys were stabbed – had fabricated the account and planted evidence to look like a burglar had been at the scene
He also insisted that a major flaw in the original defence was that no counter experts were presented in court.
They may have held a different opinion of what was found at the crime scene – such as the droplets of the boys’ blood on Routier’s shirt, which prosecutors claimed were ‘cast-offs’ from the stabbing.
He also notes that there was a bloody fingerprint at the scene which didn’t belong to anyone inside and has not yet been identified.
Elsewhere, a sock with two droplets of blood on it – belonging to both the children – was discovered more than 68 metres from the house, which prosecutors claimed was part of Routier’s plan to stage the ‘attack’.
But her appeal lawyer suggested the times don’t add up because she wouldn’t have had enough time to commit the crime, call 911 – which resulted in her being on the phone for six minutes – and then run back to stage the scene.
For now, Routier (pictured with Susanna), remains on death row. She has yet to be set an execution date
He also claimed the bread knife prosecutors said was used to slash the door screen should’ve had more fibres on it from the cloth than it did if used to cause the damage.
Mr Cooper also questioned why Routier’s husband was never investigated after the father admitted in a signed affidavit to one insurance scam as well as an idea for a staged home robbery so he could collect a claim.
Routier revealed on the programme that she is concerned about some of the people she has since discovered her ex-husband mixed with.
Darin was approached by the documentary but declined to be interviewed.
Despite being found guilty, Routier’s mother, ex-husband, friends and even sole surviving son, Drake, who was a baby at the time of the crime but is now in his early 20s, have stood by her over the years, insisting that she is innocent.
For now, Routier, remains on death row. She has yet to be set an execution date.
Routier said: ‘I never forget this is one of the states that has the most executions. The reality is there’s a very real possibility I could be executed. Hopefully I will be exonerated. I’m less frightened; I’m at peace with myself.
‘I’m convicted but I am not a killer. I did not kill my two children. If they choose to kill me that’s my innocent blood that will be on their hands.’
Death Row’s Women With Susanna Reid aired on ITV at 9pm tonight.
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Death Row's Women viewers are left torn over mother who says she didn't kill her two boys after watching emotional memorial service not shown to jurors - while clip of her 'dancing on grave with Silly String' to mark son's birthday was shown EIGHT times have 2135 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at December 10, 2020. This is cached page on TechNews. If you want remove this page, please contact us.