SClemmons is a retired emergency management director, a paramedic, and a published author. He continues to write about true crime.
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Darlie Routier's murder conviction has been debated in depth since the day she was found guilty 25 years ago. There have been numerous documentaries, a made for TV movie, countless websites and blogs, and several books written about the case. As recently as June, 2018 a multi-part ABC documentary: "The Last Defense" aired discussing the Routier case.
Although closely followed in the State of Texas, the trial didn't have the same level of nation-wide fascination as the OJ Simpson, Casey Anthony, and Jodi Arias trials did. Cameras weren't as frequently allowed in courtrooms in 1996 and Turner Broadcasting's Headline News (HLN) and Court TV didn't exist to broadcast each day of the trial into every home. If the Darlie Routier case had occurred in more recent years, it would have been a household name.
Since her conviction, Darlie Routier's attorneys have filed several pleas and appeals to the Texas courts. The last known appeal for re-examination of physical evidence was filed by her current and longtime appellate attorney, Stephen Cooper, and accepted by State District Judge Gracie Lewis in 2014 requesting updated forensic DNA testing of evidence found at the crime scene. Stephen Cooper's intent was to prove through DNA test results that an outside intruder was in fact in the house, committed the heinous murders of Darlie and Darin Routier's two sons, and attacked Darlie before fleeing the scene.
Numerous items from the crime scene were submitted. The majority of the items were samples from the nightshirt Darlie wore on the night of the murders, but other samples included fingerprints on a knife blade handle, (The murder weapon) a swab from the sweatband of a cap, 2 buccal (saliva) swabs from Darlie, and a sample from a sock found outside of the house containing blood stains belonging to both of her boys. The evidence was submitted to the UNT Health Science Center, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics in Fort Worth, Texas, for DNA testing.
The test results were returned to Judge Lewis in June of 2015. The testing conducted on the knife handle, the sweatband of the cap, and the sock turned out to be inconclusive due to their poor condition. However, the test results on the nightshirt samples revealed more than Darlie Routier's attorney had bargained for.
The nightshirt samples submitted, revealed: (In summary)
" A female partial DNA profile was obtained from 10-2589-502. Darlie Routier cannot be excluded as the contributor of the DNA from 10-2589-502. The DNA profile from 10-2589-502 has an estimated frequency of occurrence of 1 in approximately 150 quintillion Caucasian individuals. To a reasonable degree of scientific certainty (Assuming no identical twin) Darlie Routier is the source of the DNA from 10-2589-502. No Y-STR results were obtained from 10-2589-502."
A copy of the 2015 DNA test results can be found here: https://youcouldbewrong.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/dr-06262015103716.pdf
The nightshirt blood samples that were submitted with the hopes of finding male DNA only revealed Darlie's DNA as the prosecution originally claimed during the trial. These new test results utilizing new and improved technology as opposed to 1996 technology, just all the more confirmed Darlie Routier's guilt. DNA technology has advanced significantly since the night of the murders, and readings can be gleaned even from the trace oils on human skin. On this last DNA study, the results once again pointed solely to Darlie Routier. These results are not posted or even mentioned on the "fordarlie.org" website, overseen by Darlie's mother, Darlie Kee.
SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION
This is a highly debated case and it's important for the reader to understand that these debates are not about someone awaiting trial, Darlie Routier has already had her day in court. She was convicted by a jury of her peers and was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Was the trial perfect and free of errors? Of course not, no trial is or ever will be.
People that believe in Darlie Routier's innocence provide all kinds of reasons and theories that they often try to pass as fact as to how she couldn't have been the killer and/or how she deserves a retrial. Their favorite claim is that she didn't have a motive, they love to say a motive was never proven. Prosecutors don't need to have a motive to prove someone committed murder, they only have to prove the accused did it. Which in this case, they did.
Claims are frequently made such as botched evidence testing, contamination of the crime scene, manipulated evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, evidence suppression, witness tampering, jury tampering, perjury; you name it, it's been thrown out there. But when asked to support these claims with provable fact, the Darlie supporters just can't do it. Their "facts" consist of hearsay and theory which would not hold up and obviously didn't hold up in a court of law.
There's a large group of amateur armchair detectives that sit at home in front of their computer screens watching YouTube video's critiquing the techniques utilized by the evidence investigators and lab technicians at the Routier crime scene. These are individuals that are not trained forensic investigators and had no part in processing that particular crime scene. They're hardly qualified to criticize the certified professionals that were actually there doing their jobs. These denunciator's are simply repeating things they've read on an Internet Darlie support site or saw on a YouTube video which prompts them to say "Oh, the police botched up that crime scene." People ALWAYS say the system failed when a trial verdict doesn't go the way they wanted it to.
When people don't agree with a verdict where circumstantial evidence convicted the defendant, blame always goes directly to the police and the investigators; even when the local police detectives decided that it would be a good idea to bring in outside investigators for a second opinion including experienced FBI personnel and a crime scene investigator with 39 years of experience.
Much of the debate is based on incorrect and inaccurate information, in some cases even outright made-up information is passed as fact. Although this Hub contains some open questions and opinions, it's based on the trial transcripts, media interviews, police reports, DNA test results, defendant statements, physical forensic evidence found at the scene, Darlie Routier's own courtroom testimony, and her written statement to police 2 days after the murders. The trial transcripts were found to contain numerous errors and have been corrected utilizing audio tapes of the trial. Many Darlie supporters feel that the transcript errors alone warrant a retrial. Obviously, if a retrial were somehow granted it still wouldn't change the forensic evidence that convicted her.
Darlie and her family of course maintain her innocence, but what family says their loved one convicted of crime is guilty? Many Darlie supporters point out that it's been 25 years and she still claims her innocence. Of course she does, she has to. She's committed to that claim at this point, she's on death row; the very moment she admitted guilt her appeals process would come to a grinding halt and a date for execution would be scheduled immediately.
Most new-generation Darlie supporters admit they haven't read the trial transcripts. A guilty or innocent opinion cannot be accurately formed based on watching YouTube videos or simply reading a book; which are inevitably someone else's opinion. With the unique complicity of the Darlie Routier case, people who say she's innocent as well as people who say she's guilty are truly not qualified to offer an opinion until they know all the facts of the case. Due to most published literature referencing the Darlie Routier case being a one-sided opinion (the author either believes in her innocence or her guilt) the closest one can come to achieving unbiased information about the case and proceedings would result from reading the court transcripts in their entirety.
Unfortunately, many if not most newcomers to the Darlie Routier case are immediately fed propaganda and manipulated facts of the case due to the large number of Darlie supporter blogs and websites. There aren't many internet sites supporting her guilty verdict because most people feel that justice was duly served and have moved on; it's old news. Darlie support sites as well as some authors that believe in her innocence are notorious for engaging in a journalistic tactic known as "cherry picking." Cherry picking is where the author selectively pulls tidbits of information about a subject that affirms their position or the point they're trying to get across. In doing this they neglect to provide all of the data or information about their position that might countermand what they've written. It's not outright lying per se, it's more like just not providing all the information in its entirety. Most if not all of the Darlie support sites are good at using the cherry picking tactic when extracting testimonial quotes from the Darlie Routier case court transcripts. They'll quote a question and answer from witness testimony that relates to their point, but won't print all that followed in that testimony during a prosecutorial line of questioning. This is one method of manipulating the reader and their beliefs, also referred to as "quote mining.". Politicians are famous for cherry picking during campaign debates. The problem with the cherry picking tactic is that it directly suppresses evidence or additional information that could lead to a more complete picture; which of course is the intent of the author.
A very large number of people who blurt out their opinions on this case haven't actually conducted any independent research themselves. They prefer to absorb information in a "pre-digested" form by reading and quoting the work of others.
THE 911 CALL
* NOTE - It's important to point out here that the 911 call lasted 5 minutes and 31 seconds and the transcript of the call contains 166 individual sentences over that time frame. 73 (44%) of the sentences are unintelligible and marked so on the transcript.
This is mentioned here because some Darlie supporters use the 911 call in attempts to discredit the testimony of the first arriving Rowlette police officer, David Waddell. They say he lied in court about parts of a conversation between himself and Darlie based on not hearing those words on the 911 call.
Darlie Routier was on a land line with 911, Officer Waddell was all over the house looking for an intruder and surveying the crime scene. That conversation is not going to be picked up in it's entirety or intelligibly over the phone unless Waddell was standing right next to Darlie the entire time she was holding the phone, which of course he wasn't.
On June 6, 1996, at 2:31 am, the emergency communications center (911) in Rowlett, Texas received a call from a private residence in the upscale Dalrock Heights subdivision owned by 28 year old Darin Routier and his 26 year old wife, Darlie. The caller, Darlie Routier, frantically told police dispatcher Doris Trammell that her home had been broken into and that an intruder had stabbed two of her sons, 6 year old Devon and 5 year old Damon. She claimed she had been attacked as well.
Within three minutes of the 911 call, Rowlett Police Officer David Waddell, was the first to arrive at the Routier home. He had been sitting in his police cruiser in a church parking lot doing paperwork just a few blocks away. Upon arrival he observed Darin Routier coming out of the front door wearing only pants with no shirt or shoes. Officer Waddell, not knowing if this was the suspect, drew his weapon and told him to stop. Darin identified himself and told the officer that his kids and been stabbed and were dying. He told Officer Waddell that a nurse lived across the street and he was going to get her.
When Waddell entered the house, he was shocked at the site before his eyes as he surveyed the scene. Two young boys lay on the family room floor covered in their own blood with obvious deep penetrating stab wounds to their chests and backs. There was blood everywhere; around them seeping into the carpet, on the walls and all over the kitchen floor. Officer Waddell stated that one of the boys (Devon) was obviously dead, and the other boy (Damon) was close to the wall near the hallway doing what he called "a slow craw" and making gurgling sounds as he tried to breathe.
The mother, Darlie, clutched a wet bloody towel to her neck and was standing near him on the phone. She began screaming at Officer Waddell that the intruder might still be in the house and that he ran out through the garage. Waddell instructed Darlie to get a towel and put pressure on the boy's wounds. Which, it should be pointed out here, she didn't do. He told her 4 separate times to put pressure on Damon's wounds and she never did it. With his weapon in hand, he entered the utility room and peered into the darkness of the garage. He stated in his testimony that both his training and his instinct told him it was best to wait for backup before actually entering the dark garage alone. Seconds later, Rowlett police Sergeant Matthew Walling arrived on the scene along with a Rowlett Fire Rescue ambulance staffed by paramedics Jack Kolbye and Brian Koschak.
The paramedics "staged" or waited outside the front door waiting for the officers to secure the scene and tell them it was safe to enter. Officer's Walling and Waddell drew their weapons and began searching the house starting in the utility room adjacent to the kitchen which led to the garage where Darlie said she had chased the intruder out of the house. Being dark, the officers switched on flashlights, found the light switch, but didn't find anyone in the garage or spot anyone in the back yard. They did observe an open window in the garage close to the floor with a vertical cut to the screen.
A short time later Officer Walling opened the front door and told paramedics Kolbye and Koschak to come in and advised they were going to need additional medical help. Paramedic Koschak radioed for an additional ambulance as he followed his partner into the house.
Paramedic Kolbye went to Damon located to the left of the entry hallway in the family room close to a wall and paramedic Koschak went to Devon on the other side of the room at the foot of the couch. Kolbye testified that Damon was face down and took his last breath as he turned him over. He began trying to ventilate Damon with a bag valve mask but he stated that Darin and Darlie were both shouting which was distracting so he picked Damon up and carried him outside to a stretcher and began CPR. Koschak testified that after assessing Devon and noticing that he was obviously dead, he went over to Darlie in the kitchen to look at her neck. He also wanted to get her away from the shouting so he took her out on the front porch to assess her wounds. Both medics’ were asked in court if Darlie was visibly upset and crying in the house and they both said she wasn't crying but there was a lot of shouting going on. Paramedic Larry Byford, who examined her in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, testified that during the entire trip she didn’t ask once about the condition of her children.
THE CRIME SCENE
Officers Waddell and Walling searched the upstairs areas of the house and discovered Darin and Darlie's youngest son, 6-month old Drake, in his crib. Fortunately he had not been harmed. No intruder was discovered upstairs or anywhere else in the home.
In the meantime, K-9 officers had arrived on the scene and began searching a wide perimeter around the house; no intruder found.
Paramedic Kolbye stated that when they loaded Damon in the ambulance he was just barely hanging on and gasping for air in his blood filled lungs. They proceeded transporting to Baylor Medical Center, Dallas, but he died enroute. Paramedic Koschak remained at the scene and when the second RFD paramedic team, Larry Byford, Rick Zimmerman, and Rick Coleman arrived, he turned over Darlie's care to them. Rowlett Police asked Koschak to examine the baby (Drake) and Darin who was also unharmed.
While paramedics were tending to Darlie's lacerations, (Not stabs like the boys) she told Sergeant Walling that an intruder had entered her house, and had gotten on top of her while she slept on the couch. Darlie's well known story changing habits began right here at this point and would continue to present day. She originally told Officer Waddell that the intruder awakened her, she screamed, and after fighting with him at the end of the bar, (Located between the kitchen and the family room) he ran on through the kitchen, through the utility room, and into the garage area. She said it was then that she realized the boys had been attacked and savagely butchered. Approximately fifteen minutes later, Darlie told Sergeant Walling that the fight between her and the intruder occurred while she was still on the couch. Both officers testified to these different stories during the trial.
Prosecution: And when she told you that she had a struggle with the individual, did she indicate to you that morning where that struggle had taken place?
Sergeant Walling: Yes, sir, at the couch.
Prosecution: At the couch?
Sergeant Walling: Yes, sir.
Prosecution: Are you sure that she didn't tell you that the struggle occurred between the kitchen and the family room?
Sergeant Walling: No, sir. She said that when she woke up, the person was standing over her, and that she was laying on the couch, and that she began struggling with him
It was now 3 am and the paramedics were preparing to transport Darlie. Her husband, Darin, told her he would meet her at the hospital. Darin told a next door neighbor he was shook up and asked him if would drive him to the hospital. The neighbor's wife volunteered to remain at the house and stay with baby Drake. Evidence investigators and technicians now began arriving along with local media trucks. Neighbors had begun to gather outside of the crime scene tape.
RED FLAGS AND SUSPICIONS
In this author's opinion, the first red flag would have to be the fact that not once did Darlie ask about her youngest child Drake, or go upstairs to check on him. Her two oldest boys are laying on the floor in their own blood stabbed to death and she never asked anyone about her baby upstairs? There's something seriously wrong with that picture. We know she didn't ask about him (or check on him) from the time she called 911 to when she was admitted to the hospital, unless she asked the paramedics enroute to the hospital (which neither mentioned in court) or Darin told her Drake was fine before she dialed 911; again, not mentioned anywhere.
Even if Darin told her Drake was fine before she dialed 911, what mother wouldn't rush upstairs to see for herself that her baby was ok? Especially with the possibility of the supposed intruder still being in the house. What mother in the world would leave their baby all alone upstairs in that situation? ....Unless she already knew Drake was fine because there was no intruder.
Darlie told investigators that she and the boys had decided to sleep in the family room with the boys on the floor and her on the couch watching TV (As later discovered she had done for several nights before the murders) while Darin and baby Drake slept upstairs in the bedroom. She said Drake's tossing and turning in his crib upstairs kept her awake. The family room was the scene of the crime. This is where the boys were viciously stabbed and Darlie claimed she was attacked by an intruder while sleeping on the couch.
Lieutenant Grant Jack, commander of the Rowlett Police Department's Investigative Division, was summoned at home and arrived on the scene around 3 AM. He was briefed by detective Jimmy Patterson at the house as to what Darlie had stated and began conducting his own assessment of the scene. As the crime scene was being "processed," Rowlett PD evidence specialist, Sergeant David Nabors, began dusting for prints and examining blood evidence as other technicians were taking photos all over the house. After realizing the magnitude of the crime, Lt. Jack thought it best to call for some investigative assistance. He called in James Cron, a retired veteran Dallas PD crime scene investigator with an excellent career track record. Cron was now doing consulting work for other law enforcement agencies in the Dallas area. After being notified he arrived at about 6AM and began his analysis of the scene. While gathering evidence in the kitchen, Sgt. Nabors noticed Darlie's purse and the many gold rings and bracelets (Including a Rolex watch) she had worn that day sitting on the kitchen counter where she had taken them off before lying down on the couch. He thought it was odd that an intruder that presumably came in to rob the house would walk right past the purse and jewelry without taking it all.
Nabors also noticed that with all the blood on the counter and kitchen floor that the sink was perfectly clean and the cabinet doors under the sink were clean as well with the exception of blood smudges around the edges. It gave the appearance that someone had tried to wipe the counter and cabinet doors clean of blood. Nabor's sprayed Luminol, a chemical compound that picks up the copper found in blood which often remains behind after attempts are made of cleaning it up. The Luminol indicated there had been a significant amount of blood there which had been obviously wiped up.
James Cron found it odd that other than a blood smudge on the door leading to the utility room and two blood smudges on the side of the washing machine, there was nothing else past that point to indicate that an intruder had exited through the garage as Darlie had claimed; not one drop of blood anywhere. The cut screen on the garage window was just that, cut. It wasn't bent in or out or stretched in any way to indicate someone had gone through it in either direction. The dust on the window sill was undisturbed, there was no blood or fingerprints found on the window or the screen, and the ground outside the window had no bloody footprints or footprints of any kind. There was absolutely nothing to indicate anyone had gone into the garage and through the window; coming in or going out.
The investigators discovered a motion sensor light on the redwood spa the Routier's had installed in the backyard. Tests revealed that it would stay on for 18 minutes after it was activated. If Darlie's "timeline of events" was accurate according to her 911 call and what she first told police, that light would have still been on when officers Waddle and Walling arrived on the scene in 3 minutes and 4 minutes after the 911 call. Both officers testified that it was not on when they initially checked the garage and backyard. Darlie repeatedly stated that the intruder exited the house through the garage and went out the window.
A significant amount of blood was found on the kitchen floor in front of the sink. The only footprints found were Darlie's bare footprints and a partial boot-print found to be consistent with Sergeant Walling's boots from where he first checked the garage. There was broken glass on the kitchen floor from a wine glass, but the glass was on top of the blood, there were no blood drops discovered on top of the shards of glass suggesting that it had been broken after the events that had supposedly taken place. Examination of Darlie's feet (she was barefooted) revealed no cuts from the glass. A vacuum cleaner was found turned over but with blood underneath it as if deliberately placed there after the fact. An intact expensive flower vase was found lying on the floor with long stem flowers. The stems were unbroken giving the investigators the impression that they had just been laid there, not knocked over during a struggle. One investigator later commented "Strange....maximum human devastation with minimal property damage."
Cron quietly approached Lt Jack outside in front of the house and told him that from what he was seeing so far, it was starting to look like these murders had been committed by someone living in the house. Lt. Jack told Cron that he had the same gut feeling after he heard Darlie's account of what happened and compared it to the scene. As the investigation proceeded it was beginning to appear as if the scene of the crime had been staged to give the impression that a struggle had taken place between Darlie and an intruder. None of the forensic evidence was matching Darlie's initial story. Cron told Lt. Jack that if a struggle had taken place, it was minimal and if an intruder had been there, he couldn't find any evidence of his presence in the house. He said there was no visible evidence to suggest that someone had exited through the garage as Darlie had stated.
Author Note - Out of due respect for the victims and family, no photos of the boy's body's will be displayed here.
THE BLOOD EVIDENCE
Darlie Routier was again interviewed the day after the murders in the hospital, this time by detectives. Her story was now more detailed and changed a bit from her original story.
"I woke up hearing my son Damon saying 'Mommy Mommy,' as he tugged on my nightshirt. I opened my eyes and felt a man get off me. I got up to chase after him. As I flipped the light in the kitchen on, I saw him open his hand and let the knife drop to the floor. Then he ran out through the garage. I went over and picked up the knife. I shouldn't have picked it up. I probably covered up the fingerprints. I shouldn't have picked it up. I looked over and saw my two babies with blood all over them. I didn't realize my own throat had been cut until I saw myself in a mirror. I screamed out to my husband."
The Luminol application to the kitchen area showed that a significant amount of blood had been rinsed down the drain most likely with the sprayer. It showed wiped up blood from the counter, the cabinet doors, and on the sides of the sink. There also appeared to be wiped up blood smears on the water faucet and the sprayer as well. Blood discovered on the inside of the cabinet doors where it had run down from the sink proved to be Darlie’s. Blood found on the sink back splash turned out to be a combination of both Damon and Devon's blood.
Darlie denied cleaning or even being anywhere near the kitchen sink, despite her blood being everywhere around it and in front of it. (Until she testified in court, yep, her story changed again) That would insinuate that the supposed intruder stopped to wash his hands, clean up the sink, the counter, the outside of the cabinet doors, the sprayer, the back splash, and wipe up two of Darlie's foot prints from the floor all while being chased by Darlie. And if so, how did he accomplish that without leaving a single bloody footprint on the floor in front of the sink that had Darlie's blood everywhere? That idea is so preposterous it's not worth considering. More on the sink will be addressed later in this article.
Investigators discovered blood drops on top of blood drops on the small carpet immediately in front of the sink indicating that someone that was bleeding had stood there for some time. (Identified as belonging to Darlie) And as mentioned, Luminol applied to the kitchen floor showed that someone had attempted to clean up Darlie's bloody footprints facing the sink.
As Darlie's accounts of what happened continued to change in the days following the murders, she now said that she fought the intruder on the couch who was a male, about 6 feet tall, wearing a black t-shirt ball cap and blue jeans that was holding a large knife while still on top of her. With the various cuts that Darlie presented upon arrival of the police, only a small amount of blood was found on the couch or the pillows where Darlie's second version of what happened claims the knife fight took place.
There were no stab marks, punctures, slashes or cast off blood of any kind discovered on the couch where Darlie claimed the knife attack took place. This "revised" version came just minutes after her first story changed from fighting the intruder just inside the kitchen area just before the intruder ran into the garage.
A bloody hand print of Damon's was found on the carpet where he was first stabbed and a second hand print was found on the couch (which had initially been wiped off-discovered with Luminol testing) showing that he had moved. A trail of his blood discovered on the carpet indicated that he moved a second time toward the entry way where he was found when emergency services arrived. Blood spatter found on the wall suggested that he had been stabbed a second time by someone who was bleeding. Tests on blood drops near Damon's body were identified as Darlie’s.
A blood imprint of the knife on the carpet was found near Devon’s body. A small pool of blood indicated that someone bleeding, most likely from the hand or arm had been there. Blood found pooling at the tip of the knife indicated that blood had run down the knife from the handle. This blood turned out be a combination of Damon's and Darlie's blood. Darlie had a laceration on the top of her right arm and she is right handed. Darlie told police she saw the intruder drop the knife in the utility room, she picked it up and placed it on the kitchen island. She never said she carried into the living room where it had obviously been laid down next to Damon's body.
Damon and moved some distance from where he was initially stabbed. His body was found near the wall almost directly in front of the bathroom. It appeared that he was trying his best to make it out of the family room and move toward the stairs. Maybe to get away from Darlie?
DARLIE'S MYSTERIOUS WOUNDS and BRUISES
Interestingly, of the cuts Darlie had on her, the two areas she was most proud of, her face and her breasts, were uninjured.
Darlie has said more than once in post-conviction interviews from prison "How could I have done those things to myself? My neck was cut from ear to ear."
Hardly, the 3 and a half inch laceration (9 cm) on her neck was defined by two physician's (one a surgeon) as superficial. It was not life threatening as Darlie supporters and many documentaries (Including the recent June 2018 ABC feature: The Last Defense) would have you believe. Yes, one end of the cut was close to a carotid artery, but the carotid arteries are also very close to the surface. Her laceration did not penetrate muscle and was less than a half of an inch deep. Darlie has stated that she had to go to surgery to have her necklace removed that was embedded in her neck from the knife blade. That is 100% false. The surgeon, erring on the side of caution decided to do a small exploratory procedure to evaluate the laceration.
Here is a perfect example of inaccurate, or most likely intentionally made-up information about the necklace and surgery direct from the Darlie support site "fordarlieroutier.org." In reference to the necklace the website dramatically states:
"She was in surgery for 2 hours, the necklace was removed by doctors from her neck wound."
The truth is, when nurse Jodi Fitts removed the bandage applied by EMS in the ambulance, the necklace fell right off of her neck, prior to any surgery. The website says "doctors" as if a whole team of surgeons were meticulously working on her in a race against the clock to save her life. There was one physician, Dr. Santos conducting the procedure accompanied by a resident (doctor in training) who was observing. The website goes on to say that she was in surgery for "2 hours." According to her medical chart, the cleansing, evaluation, and closing procedure took 49 minutes and was considered "an outpatient procedure."
Darlie supporters love to say a "nick" or flattened area in the chain "proves" that it saved her life because it kept the knife blade from lacerating her carotid artery; pure speculation. Darlie bought that necklace at a pawn shop; it was used jewelry. Who's to say that nick wasn't in the chain when she purchased it? It's proof of nothing.
All the surgeon (Dr, Santos) did was take a peek at the cut, cleanse it, and close it right back up. He didn't even use sutures or staples, he used steri-strips. (See pic above) He had her placed in the ICU only to keep the press from hounding her. Dr Santos testified that under any other circumstances he probably would have discharged her later that morning. The press in-turn, (at the family's approval and invitation) jumped at the opportunity of getting photos of Darlie in bed in the ICU. It's standard procedure for any patient in a critical care unit to have an IV, be placed on oxygen, capnography1, a heart monitor, and pulse oximetry2,...no matter how serious the patient's condition is. So now we have these dramatic photos of Darlie in bed with all these wires and tubes and her intentionally displaying a look on her face as if she were on death's doorway. All with a simple procedure that would have under any other circumstance had her discharged from the ER in a couple of hours. The Darlie supporters proudly display these photos on their blogs and websites and say "OMG, look at her, she almost died, she couldn't have possibly done this to herself."
1 - measures end-tidal co2, your exhaled air
2 - measures oxygen saturation at the capillary beds, the little clip they put on your finger with a wire attached to it,
Darlie and her defense counsel claimed that her bruises, all predominately on the underside of her right arm were defensive bruises where she had fought off the intruder. If that's true, what caused the bruises? According to one version of Darlie's 5 different intruder stories, he supposedly had a knife, not a baseball bat. Why were there no slashes or stabs underneath her right arm where she was using it for defense? Why only bruises? Bruises like that don't just come from someone grabbing your arm, they came from striking something. If she were striking out or defending herself with her arms how did she not get cut by the knife? No cuts were found under either one of her arms. Why weren't the palms of her hands or her fingers cut while fighting a man with knife?
Suggested theories as to the causes for the bruises have included the boys kicking with their legs to ward off the stabs. (Especially the right arm holding the knife) Juror Rina Way said on the "Liza Show" that the fact that Devon had a knife wound on his buttocks suggested that he had both legs up in the air kicking Darlie's right arm to ward off the stabs to his chest. The other theory is that Darlie (or with Darin's assistance) created the bruises herself to support her story of fighting the intruder..
A trauma surgeon, an emergency room nurse and four ICU nurses testified during the trial that the bruises under her right arm were definitely not there while Darlie was in their care and up to when she was discharged. As to be expected, the Darlie supporters claim that their testimony was manipulated by the prosecution. This infers that a doctor and four nurses from Baylor University Medical Center were talked into risking their careers and risked receiving jail time by committing perjury on the witness stand. After the trial, juror Charlie Samford publicly stated that if he had seen the photo of her under arm bruise, he would have voted not guilty. The trial transcripts clearly describe Asst. DA Toby Shook instructing the courtroom bailiff to be sure to show the photo of her large underarm (Right arm) bruise to every single juror. Was juror Charlie Samford asleep when this picture was shown to them?
During the trial, Dr. Alejandro Santos, the trauma surgeon that closed Darlie's wounds was called to testify. Asst. DA Toby Shook showed Dr. Santos the infamous bruise photo of Darlie's right arm (Shown below) that her supporters say prove that she fought off an intruder.
Prosecutor: Okay. Now, you never saw any evidence of this injury to the right arm on her stay [in the hospital] on the 6th, 7th or 8th of June; is that right?
Dr. Santos: Other than the other wounds that we talked about earlier, no, I did not see any other type of injury.
Prosecutor: How long would it take for bruising like this to occur to the arm after receiving this blunt force trauma?
Dr. Santos: I'd say 24 to 48 hours
Prosecutor: Would the nurses make notes of that if they saw this type of injury?
Dr. Santos: Yes. That's part of their duties, is to find injuries that we may have missed. And certainly something like this would be something I would expect the nurses to point out to me or to the other doctors before we sent her home.
Even Darlie's friend and neighbor Karen Neal, a trained Registered Nurse, testified that she didn't see the underarm bruise on her right arm while visiting Darlie every day in the hospital. She said the only bruise she observed was around the cut on the top of Darlie's arm. It's interesting how no one saw these mysterious bruise's before June 10th, except of course.....Darlie's family members.
The bruise photos were taken on June 10, - 48 hours after Darlie's discharge from the hospital. That falls right in line with Dr. Santos' expert opinion of bruising occurring within 24-48 hours. June 10th was 48 hours after her discharge. Which is highly suggestive of assisted or self infliction when she got back home from the hospital prior to the police photos.
THINGS JUST DON'T ADD UP
So according to Darlie, an intruder breaks in the house and stab's the sleeping boys with such great force that several of the stab wounds went almost all the way through Devon's chest. All of this vicious action takes place just a few feet from her and she doesn't hear a sound; she continues sleeping. Then with the element of surprise on his side, the intruder attacks her but for some unknown reason he completely changes his attack style by performing slashes, not high force stabs as he did on the children. Why would he just slash at an adult who could fight back better than a child? Why would he not ram that knife down into her chest several times as was done to the two boys and be done with it? It makes no sense that he would only slash her where she could wake up, fight back, scream for help, or even survive and become a witness that could testify against him. And she claimed she slept through her attack too ! The Darlie Supporters say that it was just so traumatic to her that she erased it from her memory and doesn't remember it.
The only blood discovered in the utility room, (Which led to the garage) was found on the edge of the utility room door and in two separate places on the left side of the washing machine; it was identified as belonging to Darlie. No other blood was discovered past that point. The utility room floor, the garage floor, the window sill, the screen, the patio, and the back yard gate showed no blood drops; no