FBI agent says Routier boys may have known their killer

Jan. 24, 1997

KERRVILLE (AP) - Devon and Damon Routier likely died at the hands of someone they knew, not a stranger breaking into their suburban home, an FBI agent testified Thursday.

''In all likelihood, whoever killed Devon and Damon was someone that they knew and someone that they knew very well,'' said Alan Brantley, a violent crime specialist with the FBI.

Brantley stopped short of saying he believed the boys' mother, Darlie Routier, fatally stabbed them. But prosecutors, who rested their case Thursday, are using his testimony to try to prove Mrs. Routier killed the two children, then slashed herself and staged a crime scene.

Mrs. Routier says an intruder stabbed 5-year-old Damon and 6-year-old Devon and then attacked her June 6 in their Rowlett home near Dallas. She told police the man - dressed in dark clothing and a baseball cap - fled through a window in the garage.

Her capital murder trial was moved to Kerrville because of publicity.

In an often testy cross-examination, defense attorney Doug Mulder, suggested Brantley's opinion was flawed because he relied on inaccurate police evidence and because he knew the police department's conclusions before he started.

''What you did in this case is you took the answer and worked backwards. You came in after Mrs. Routier had been arrested and indicted,'' Mulder said.

Defense attorneys had strenuously objected to the testimony from Brantley, who entered the case after Mrs. Routier's arrest, but state District Judge Mark Tolle allowed the jury to hear it.

Brantley based his opinions on a visit to the crime scene, nearly 1,000 crime scene photos, police and medical reports and news accounts. He acknowledged he did not interview witnesses, but relied on police interviews.

''It's my opinion that this crime scene was staged,'' Brantley said.

Valuable items weren't taken, Brantley said, adding that few household items were disturbed in the alleged struggle between Mrs. Routier and an intruder, while other items were carefully moved.

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Copyright Lubbock Avalanche-Journal 1997