The state's highest criminal court has refused to overturn the capital murder conviction of Darlie Routier. The Rowlett mother was convicted of stabbing to death her two sons in their home -- circumstances very similar to what happened in East Texas two weeks ago. Mother Deanna Laney stands accused of bludgeoning two of her sons to death in the middle of the night. Channel 7's Morgan Palmer spoke to Darlie Routier's attorney, Stephen Cooper. He says it's going to be a tough road for not only Deanna Laney and her attorney Buck Files, but for the entire community.
"Obviously we have a mother who is accused of multiple murders of her children, and horrendous circumstances, and that's nothing that you can dodge or sweet talk, you just start talking to the jurors straight up," says Cooper.
Deanna Laney told police dispatchers she killed Joshua and Luke. Routier and her attorney have always maintained Darlie's innocent.
Routier's trial was moved to Kerrville because of the pre-trial publicity. Cooper feels that was a mistake, since the small town jury was even more shocked by the crime than a more "sophisticated" Dallas jury would be.
"Obviously from a defense lawyer standpoint, the more conservative the community is, the more difficult your job may be. At the same time, there may be aspects of the case that the defense attorney can use to his advantage with a more conservative jury."
East Texas is a community where faith plays an important role.
"Family issues. Church issues. Those kinds of things may ring a little more loudly to a similar-thinking type jury," he says.
As for Deanna Laney, she was stone faced in her first court appearance. She looked in shock. But Cooper says in the trial, there will be plenty of emotion, and it's all right.
"Real emotion is OK in a courtroom, and we don't have to be plastic figures. And I'm sure when they, as the prosecution usually does, parade horrible photoraphs around, she'll turn her head, and probably break down. I would not tell a client to sit there stone faced in the face of that kind of, I'd expect them to react how they'd normally react."
It will not be easy for anyone, Cooper says. For Deanna Laney, Buck Files, or East Texans. Though a trial should answer the questions everyone wants answered.