Darlie Routier: The story of a woman convicted of murder after two sons' killing

In 1996, she said a man attacked her and fatally stabbed her two sons in their home but police believed that she was responsible. More than two decades later, she still maintains her innocence.
8:47 | 05/11/19

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Transcript for Darlie Routier: The story of a woman convicted of murder after two sons' killing
What's your name? Devon. The routiers were a typical family. Darly was known as a doting mother. Hi. I'm here. The routiers seemed to have everything until one night in June in 1996. When I went to sleep, everything was perfect. When I woke up, it's been a nightmare ever since. What woke you up? My little boy, Damon. He was pressing on my shoulder, and he was sing "Mommy." Darly has always maintained that there was a man in the house that night. Darly says that strange man attacked her. I could see like the outline of a man that was going through the end of the living area into the kitchen. There was a sound of glass breaking. I stood up, and I started to walk to the kitchen. And there was a knife laying down on the ground. Right outside the utility room. I picked it up. It was just like an instinct. And at that time, I could see Devon laying face up, and I flipped on the lights, and I remember screaming and screaming for Darren. She was trying to Dell tell me he was hurt. Devon, Devon, Devon. The look on her face was just startling. Ma'am? Somebody stabbed me and my children. What? He just stabbed me and my little boys. Who did! Police spent much of the day meticulously investigating the crime scene. When the police were there, they saw a cut screen in the garage. Which seems to indicate that someone cut the screen from the outside, stepped through the screen and headed through the main part of the house. And they found bloody footprints on the kitchen fleur. Broken glass. Bloody fingerprints and blood everywhere. She said that she fought off the attack. The only description of the attacker was a white male wearing dark clothing. About a week after the murders, on June 14th, the routiers hold a birthday party at the cemetery for Devon who would have turned 7 that day. And a local television station went out and caught it. Happy birthday to you. They sprayed silly string, which took maybe 20 seconds. They sang "Happy birthday", and you hear early and Darren both saying -- I love you Devon and Damon. Even though we're sad because Devon and Damon aren't here, we try to hang on to what we can to get us through these times. And I recall how shocked I was at the sight of that. And I wasn't the only one who was shocked. As a parent, I found it disgusting. So a couple days after the birthday party we get a phone call, you got to come up to the station. We hopped in the car. We ran up there. And we were excited that they were getting close to catching who did this. At approximately 10:20 P.M. This evening, investigators from the Rowlett police department arrested early routier. We believe that the white male suspect that was described never existed. We also believe that the wounds present on early routier were I swear I did not murder my children. I swear. Darly routier was charged with two counts of capital murder. If convicted, she could face the death penalty. One thing that investigators found very suspicious was a very odd comment that early made on the 911 tape regarding fingerprints. I picked it up. It's okay. She's got two children dying in front of her. Boy, that thing that comes to her mind is finger prints. Common sense tells me no mother would ever make a statement like that. The only inference we could draw was she was setting up why you're not going to find an intruder's finger print on there. When she said don't touch anything it clicked in my head, you know, oh, my gosh, I've just touched a piece of evidence. They left the knife. There's a knife, don't touch anything. I already touched it and picked it up. The strongest evidence of innocence are the photographs of early. In all the murder cases I've tried, I've never seen a self-inflicted wound in the neck like that. I mean, just a fraction of a millimeter more, she would have bled to death. Everyone agrees that early had wounds. But the prosecution and defense see them very differently. Prosecutors believe she wanted to make it look like she'd been attacked. It was a supervision wound. It just cut the skin. You look at the injuries to the boys, deep stab wounds that went through their entire chest and back area. Because we don't have a live witness to contradict the story, what we're going to have to rely upon is the physical evidence at the crime scene to do that for An adult athletic sock was found with a small bloodstain from both boys in the alley a few doors away. The sock down the alley is probably the most important piece of evidence in this case. The investigators were coming up with all kinds of conclusions about what happened inside the house. And then one officer found a sock. And the blood belonged to both Devon and Damon. How did that sock get down It's always been our belief that early routier placed that in the alley. If she had done this crime, why wouldn't she throw it in the back yard or the end of the driveway where it could clearly be found immediately by the police? This case is going to trial. Reached a verdict at 3:50. We're waiting to get in the courtroom. The jury deliberated for seven hours before it was announced that there was a verdict. So everyone came rushing back to the courtroom. The verdict was guilty. Darly, do you have any is there anything you would like to say? I didn't murder my children. Very quickly after early was handed the death sentence, she arrived at women's death row. She's been there ever since. Coming in postconviction, my focus is on new things. What are the things we can find out now that couldn't be done then? A crucial piece of evidence in this case is a bloody finger print found near the scene. And identifying who that print belongs to is absolutely critical to whether there's another suspect involved in this crime. The state has always taken the position that it didn't have sufficient points of comparison they call it to run it through the FBI's database. It could well be the print of the person who actually did this. So we filed a motion for discovery. Asked for a DNA testing on a number of materials, including the sock. The federal court judge, judge Ferguson actually granted us the ability to run the 85-j fingerprint through the database. But the state of Texas was opposed to doing that. We've been waiting on that for about nine years now. That could be the piece that makes the whole case crumble. Even if my name is cleared and I'm exonerated, there's no winning for me. Because nobody can give me Devon and Damon back. We should note, there's still no execution date set for routier because of additional court-granted DNA testing.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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