Lawyer denies Routier family statements
By Mary Mckee, Star-Telegram Dallas Bureau
DALLAS - Darlie Routier's trial attorney has submitted a sworn document
denying that he was hired on the condition that he would not implicate
Routier's husband in the slayings of their two children.
Dallas attorney Doug Mulder rejected statements made in affidavits by
Routier's husband and her mother stating that he agreed not to pursue
Darin Routier as a suspect in the 1996 stabbing deaths.
"There were absolutely no restrictions on my representation of Ms. Routier
with respect to Darin Routier or anyone else," Mulder said in his
affidavit, filed Friday.
Questions about whether Mulder effectively represented Darlie Routier were
among dozens of claims raised in her July 2002 petition for a writ of
habeas corpus, which is part of her appeal of her 1997 capital murder
In the writ, Darlie Routier's lawyers said that the exclusion of Darin
Routier as a suspect foreclosed a valid defense for her.
Darlie Routier was sentenced to death after being convicted in the fatal
stabbing of her 5-year-old son, Damon, at the family's Rowlett home, and
is on women's Death Row in Gatesville. Routier says that the attack, in
which her 6-year-old son, Devon, was also killed, was the work of an
State District Judge Robert Francis, who must review the writ before
sending it to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, requested the affidavit
from Mulder after finding that Mulder's involvement was the only issue
raised in the writ that merited further examination.
Richard Burr of Houston, the newest member of Darlie Routier's appellate
team, said her lawyers will request an evidentiary hearing to sort out the
differing statements from Mulder's affidavit and that of Routier's family.
"Various family members thought Mulder agreed not to implicate Darin in
agreeing to represent Darlie," Burr said. "If he agreed to do that, that
is a severe conflict of interest because no lawyer can tie his hands in
Dallas County Assistant District Attorney John Rolater said he believes
that Mulder's affidavit sufficiently addressed the issues raised by the
"I think that the affidavit answers the allegations," he said. "The most I
could say after that is that we're cautiously optimistic."
Burr said Darlie Routier's legal team will also continue pursuing access
to various pieces of physical evidence so they can do expert testing that
could bolster her appeal.
In May, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals rejected Routier's direct
appeal, which claimed that her trial record contained numerous
inaccuracies that prevented her lawyers from raising important legal
- Mary McKee, (972) 263-4448