Darlie administered first aid to Damon by putting a towel on his back.
All of the unbiased testimony, which by necessity excludes Darlie and Darin, proves that this did not happen. When Officer Waddell arrived at 5801 Eagle Drive, about two minutes after the 911 call came in, Darlie was standing on the family room side of the kitchen bar/counter, holding a towel to her neck and a portable phone to her ear. Damon was lying face down in the family room entrance, just a few feet from where Darlie stood.
Davis: Was there anything on Damon’s back, such as a towel, a rag, anything besides the clothes he was wearing?
Waddell: No. I told the defendant to get some towels and put them on the child’s back to try to stop his bleeding.
Waddell then took a few steps toward the garage, keeping the family in his sight, and quickly returned to the kitchen bar to wait for backup.
Davis: Where is the defendant when you come back from the kitchen area?
Waddell: In the same position.
Davis: She’s not over here with Damon?
(David Waddell, Sec. 309-313).
Waddell told Darlie a second time to get towels and put them on Damon’s back.
Davis: And what did she do?
Waddell: Nothing. She kept telling me that when she chased the suspect across the kitchen, that he’d dropped the knife and she’d picked up the knife and brought it back and set it on the counter. And she told me she thought she’d messed up the fingerprints.
(David Waddell, Sec. 323)
Officer Matt Walling arrived a few minutes later and both men quickly checked the garage for a suspect. When Waddell returned to the kitchen after about 40 seconds, Darlie was still standing by the bar.
Davis: Did you look over to see if a rag or towel or anything had been placed on Damon’s back?
Waddell: Yes sir. There was none.
(David Waddell, Sec. 333)
Two paramedics, Brian Koschak and Jack Kolbye, entered the house one to two minutes after Walling. Kolbye went to Damon; Koschak went to Devon.
Davis: Where was Darlie when you came into the room?
Kolbye: She was standing next to Officer Waddell on the family room side of the bar, holding a towel to her neck.
Davis: Was there a rag or towel or anything else on top of Damon?
Kolbye: No, there was not.
Davis: Are you sure about that?
Kolbye: I’m absolutely sure about that.
(Jack Kolbye, Sec. 1433)
Kolbye was with Damon for approximately a minute before he carried him to the ambulance. After checking Devon and not getting a pulse, Koschak turned his attention to Darlie, quickly taking her to the front porch to assess her injuries. She did not re-enter the house. At this point, Waddell and Walling went upstairs to check the second floor.
Darin’s testimonies, given both before and during the trial, are astoundingly contradictory in regard to the towel(s). The following is his testimony from the August 26, 1996 Bond Hearing.
Davis: This towel [that you say] was on the back of Damon, was it still on his back when the police officers came in?
Darin: I believe it was.
Davis: You didn’t remove it, did you?
(Darin Routier, Sec. 156)
In his trial testimony five months later, however, Darin said he had removed the towel from Damon’s back in order to lift up his shirt, thus implying that Darlie had placed a towel there, and he’d removed it before the first responders arrived. Yet in his 9/12/96 testimony he stated, “I never lifted up his shirt or anything. I was afraid to touch him.”
(Darin Routier, Sec. 4392)
Even after Darlie was convicted, Darin’s claims continued to argue with each other. As a guest on the Leeza Gibbons show in 1998, he stated, “There were 3 [towels] on one boy and two were on the other.” And yet, none of the boys’ blood was found on any of the towels, only Darlie’s blood.
Darlie’s testimony didn’t make any more sense than Darin’s: “The day the house was released on 6/17/96, Chris Frosch was standing in the family room with me and Darin, and I had realized that I’d gone to the sink and gotten towels out of the drawer and I told him that.”
(Darlie Routier, Sec. 4954)
However, the very next day, June 18th, she met with Bill Parker, a former Dallas police officer/private investigator. He had Darlie read over her 6/8 statement, in which she made no mention of going to the sink or wetting towels. Parker stated that she appeared to read it carefully, even following the writing with her finger. When he asked if she wanted to change or add anything her response was, “No, that is exactly what happened.”
(William Parker, Sec. 5064, 5065)
David Waddell could clearly see Damon. He saw that his eyes were open and that he was trying to breathe. Jack Kolbe examined the child’s back and actually rolled him over. If there had been a towel on Damon, these two men would have known it. Equally significant is the fact that Darlie remained in the same place, on the family room side of the bar the entire time, until paramedic Koschak took her to the front porch.
In her June 8th statement, Darlie claimed that she put a towel on Damon’s back, even though the testimony and evidence confirms that she did not go near him. Several months later, at trial, she testified that it was a wet towel.
Darlie: I got the towels, and I was calling 911 as I got the towels.
Mulder: After you got the towels wet, did you take those to Darin?
Darlie: I got a couple of towels wet and I went to Damon first…I put a towel on my baby’s back.
(Darlie Routier, Sec. 4871-4872)
So Darlie has the phone in one hand, and is holding a towel to her neck with the other. Where is her third hand to wet towels in the sink? Even if we accept her vague explanation that she was cradling the phone on her shoulder “occasionally,” how did she avoid getting a single drop of water on the floor? She certainly wouldn’t have taken the time to wring the towels out.
I believe this was a self-serving statement, motivated by the memory of Waddell telling her to do so, and her failure to act. She had 2 1/2 days in the hospital to mull over the potential evidence against her, and this particular incident probably weighed heavily on her mind. Even Darlie must have realized that there’s something unnatural about a mother tending to her own wounds, while ignoring her children’s.