Prosecutor goes on attack against defendant’s husband
KERRVILLE, Texas (AP) _ A screaming Darlie Routier frantically tried to help her two little boys after they were stabbed, grabbing kitchen towels to cover their gaping wounds, her husband testified at her murder trial.
The prosecutor repeatedly accused Darin Routier of changing his story to bolster his wife’s account of the slayings.
``What we’re hearing from Darin Routier is not what we’ve heard from him in the past,″ prosecutor Greg Davis said outside the courtroom after grilling Routier on the witness stand.
Mrs. Routier is accused of fatally stabbing 5-year-old Damon and 6-year-old Devon on June 6 at their home in Rowlett. Prosecutors allege she was upset over financial problems and the burdens of motherhood, and slashed herself to cover the crime.
Mrs. Routier contends an intruder attacked her and her sons with a kitchen butcher knife.
Another witness also came under attack Monday.
Rowlett police Detective Jimmy Patterson testified that officers used a hidden microphone to listen to the Routier family’s private graveside prayer service a week after the boys’ killings.
``Do you know that’s a violation of federal law?″ defense attorney Doug Mulder asked.
``If you’re saying I’ve violated some state or federal law, then I’m not going to answer it until I have legal counsel,″ the officer said.
``I suggest you get legal counsel, then,″ Mulder replied.
Today, after a hearing with the jury absent, Judge Mark Tolle ruled that the defense cannot continue questioning Patterson and Detective Chris Frosch about the cemetery eavesdropping.
Mulder argued that ``felonious conduct on the part of the police is always relevant material″ because it reflects on the integrity of the investigation, but the judge agreed with prosecutors that it was irrelevant to the murder trial.
Routier testified that he was awakened by the sound of glass breaking and his wife screaming, but said he didn’t hear or see an intruder.
``I looked down at Devon and I looked down at his chest and he had these great, big, huge gashes in his chest,″ Routier said, crying.
He said he tried unsuccessfully to administer CPR to Devon by blowing air into his mouth and even into his chest wounds.
He also said his wife tried to help.
``She was right on top of him,″ Routier said. ``She was trying to hold his chest together.″
She called 911 and grabbed towels from the kitchen for the boys’ injuries, he said.
``She went to the phone, she went to the kitchen sink and she was going back and forth between Devon and Damon rendering aid,″ Darin Routier said.
In cross-examination, Davis claimed that was the first time Darin Routier has said his wife stood over Devon trying to help. He also alleged Routier tried to place his wife near the kitchen sink in order to account for her blood found there.
Routier denied that his wife was having trouble dealing with the boys.
``Those kids didn’t cause us any problems at all, Mr. Davis,″ he said.
Routier acknowledged that he’d been $10,000 behind on his taxes for 1995 and that the couple had $12,000 in credit card debt. He also said his wife had $5,000 breast implants and that before the killings she was taking diet pills.
``Did you and your wife get caught up in the material side of life during 1996?″ Davis asked.
``Somewhat,″ he replied.