Darlie Routier has always maintained she’s innocent, even after spending nearly two decades on death row for stabbing her two sons to death. Now, her case will be featured on a new ABC show, The Last Defense, which aims to explore the cases of possibly-innocent people who are behind bars.
As KABC-TV (Los Angeles) reports, actress Viola Davis made a name for herself playing Annalise Keating, the How To Get Away With Murder law professor who took an interest in getting justice for the wrongly imprisoned. Now Viola has let her character inform her professional life: she and her husband, Julius Tennon, created the new show in that vein.
“This new series will make people lean in further because How To Get Away With Murder is fiction. The Last Defense is non-fiction. It’s real.”
The first order of business for The Last Defense will be the case of Darlie Routier.
For a few weeks in the summer of 1996, the story of Darlie and her two sons, Devon and Damon Routier, dominated the news. As the Dallas Morning News reported in 2016, early in the morning of June 6, the two boys were stabbed to death while they slept. Paramedics found 6-year-old Devon dead at the scene; so severe were his wounds that he had been stabbed all the way through his abdomen. Damon, who was still alive but gasping for his final breaths, had been stabbed in the back. He died a short time later.
Darlie also had stab wounds, including one slash across her throat that was within two millimeters of her carotid artery. Her husband, Darin Routier, supposedly sleeping through it all, was unharmed.
Routier claimed that an intruder entered the home and stabbed them to death. Prosecutors, however, said that her story didn’t add up. Her wounds appeared self-inflicted, according to a medical expert, and the notion that Darin slept through it all seemed far-fetched.
Darlie was convicted of capital murder in 1997 and given the death penalty.
Now, two years after her sentence, not only does Darlie continue to maintain her innocence, but there are some still some parts of her story that raise questions.
The biggest question centers on a bloody sock found in an alley behind the Routiers’ home about 75 yards away. Darlie maintains that it belonged to the real murderer, and those who support her claim note that it would have been next to impossible for Darlie to murder her children, call 911, run 150 yards round trip, and then stab herself almost fatally, all while not leaving a single drop of blood on the ground.
The Last Defense airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern Time on ABC.