DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Supporters rallied in Dallas Friday in defense of Darlie Routier, the North Texas mother who was convicted of stabbing her 5-year-old son 22 years ago.
Routier, who lived in Rowlett was convicted in 1996 for the stabbing death of her son Damon. However, she was not charged for the slaying of her 6-year-old Devon.
Supporters gathered and rallied at the Crowley Courthouse in Dallas, demanding a fresh look at the case that placed Routier on death row.
Sara Kauffmann, a supporter who travelled from Phoenix, Arizona, said a recent documentary on the murders of Routier’s sons “shook her to the core.”
“As the public, we are outraged,” Kauffmann said. “My look on the justice system changed.”
The gathering attracted others who say their stories are a testament to the failures of the justice system.
Kristine Bunch spent 17 years in prison in Indiana before being cleared of murder in the death of a daughter killed when the family’s home burned.
“I know the judicial system gets it wrong,” Bunch said. “And in this case, they got it wrong.”
Routier’s mother, Darlie Kee, believes the negative public opinion helped put her daughter in prison.
“In 1996, it wasn’t about innocence or guilt,” Kee said. “She was guilty before she went in that courtroom.”
For two decades, she has insisted that her daughter was wrongly convicted. The New York based Innocence Project is now looking into her case and both Kee and her daughter remain hopeful, she said.
“She’s getting evidence back that’s favorable for her, and again we knew that would happen, we just didn’t know it would take a lifetime,” Kee said.
But for those who helped put Routier in prison have not been swayed by new media coverage.
Toby Shook, one of the prosecutors on the case, said nothing has happened in the past two decades to make him doubt the jurors decision to convict Routier.
“It really doesn’t pay to put on a documentary 22 years later to show someone’s guilty,” Shook said. “Darlie Routier testified and she was caught in a bunch of lies, she wound up being our best witness to prove her guilt, the lies that she was caught in.”
Supporters plan to rally at the state capitol in Austin on Saturday.