The husband of death row inmate Darlie Routier said Friday that he and his wife are divorcing to move on from the "limbo" they've been in since her arrest and conviction for killing one of their sons.
Darin Routier told The Associated Press that the decision to divorce was mutual and "very difficult," and that he still believes his wife is innocent. His attorney filed the divorce papers Wednesday in Lubbock, where he lives with their youngest son, Drake, who is 15.
"It doesn't change the fact that we still believe what we believe," he said. "You have to separate the tragedy from the marriage. Do you know anyone who would have waited 15 years? So it doesn't change anything."
Darlie Routier, 40, was convicted in 1997 of killing the couple's middle child, 5-year-old Damon, the year before. She also was charged with killing Damon's 6-year-old brother, Devon, but was not tried for the death.
Darlie Routier contends that an unidentified intruder killed the boys and stabbed her in their home in Rowlett. But prosecutors portrayed her during her trial as selfish and materialistic, and contended that she killed Damon to rid herself of a financial burden.
The court filing cites a "conflict of personalities" between the Routiers, but Darlie Routier's mother, Darlie Kee, said her daughter and Darin still love one another and that the wording is typical for a divorce petition.
"It's as general as it can be," she said. "This has ruined their marriage, so we can thank the state for that. It's been very hard on all of us, because she's innocent. It's just time for him to try to move on and try to find some kind of happiness. You cannot repair the marriage because of the distance all these years."
The Routiers met in Lubbock when Darlie was a teenager and Darin was the assistant manager of a restaurant, and they dated for several years before marrying in 1988. They settled in the Dallas area, where Darin Routier's business testing circuit boards became successful a few years later.
The couple spent the newfound money -- as much as $500,000 a year -- on a Jaguar, cabin-cruiser, vacations and an upscale home replete with a fountain in the front yard and hot tub in back. But with the new purchases came hefty bills, and by May 1996 the Routiers owed $10,000 in back taxes, $12,000 on credit cards and two months of mortgage payments.
Darin Routier said his wife is appealing her conviction. She is one of 10 women on Death Row in Gatesville, which is between Dallas and Austin.
The petition states that Darin Routier believes agreements will be reached on division of the couple's estate and provisions "for conservatorship, possession of, access to, and support of" Drake.
"They love Drake, and Drake is first," Kee said.
Darin Routier said neither he nor his wife plans to remarry.
"At some point you have to move on past the point of limbo you've been living in," he said. "It's not necessarily something that you want but it's something that you have to."