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Virus slows Routier case

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Virus slows Routier case

Darlie Routier, the former Altoona resident who is facing a death sentence in Texas for the 1996 murder of one of her young children, was to have a post-conviction hearing in Dallas County last week, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Texas has recently been hard hit by positive COVID-19 cases and several weeks ago Texas Gov. Greg Abbott imposed restrictions on businesses and other services due to the upsurge of cases.

Like many other states, courtrooms in Texas have canceled many hearings.

One of Routier’s attorneys, Richard A. Smith of Dallas, emphasizing the impact of the pandemic, said he hasn’t been in a courtroom since January.

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Smith and a representative of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Lorie Davis, recently issued a status report on Routier’s long-standing post conviction appeal that awaits a hearing in Dallas County.

Routier’s attorneys also have filed a federal habeas corpus petition in the U.S. District Court of West Texas, but it has been on hold for more than a decade.

Post conviction activity in the Routier case has been delayed due to ongoing DNA testing of the evidence that was collected in June 1996, after the bodies of Routier’s two young children, Damon, 5, and Devon, 6, were found in a downstairs television room of the Routier home in Rowlett, Texas.A third child, who was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom with Routier’s husband, Darin, was not injured.Routier, now 50, contended she and the children were awakened by an intruder during the early morning hours of June 6. The knife-wielding attacker, Routier claimed, stabbed her and the children.She suffered many serious knife wounds, including one on […]

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