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Texas inmate faces execution in the deaths of his estranged wife and her daughter

HOUSTON — A Texas inmate faces execution Tuesday evening after fatally stabbing his wife nearly 14 years ago and drowning their 6-year-old daughter in a bathtub.

Gary Green, 51, prepares to receive a lethal injection at their home in Dallas for the September 2009 deaths of Laveta Armstead, 32, and their daughter, Jazmine Montgomery.

The girl’s father, Ray Montgomery, said he was not applauding Green’s execution, but instead saw it as the justice system at work.

“This is justice for the way my daughter was tortured. This is justice for the way Laveta was murdered,” Montgomery said.

As of late Monday, Green’s attorneys had not filed an appeal to block his execution, which was scheduled for Tuesday evening at the state prison in Huntsville, Texas.

Man faces death penalty for death of estranged wife and their daughter
Gary Green is facing the death penalty for stabbing his estranged wife and drowning their 6-year-old daughter in a bathtub in 2009.AP

In previous appeals, Green’s lawyers had claimed that he was intellectually disabled and had a lifelong history of mental disorders.

Green’s attorneys wrote in 2018, “These convictions likely render (Green) incapable of forming the requisite intent to commit capital murder.”

Those appeals were rejected by the US Supreme Court and lower appeals courts.

The High Court has barred the death penalty for the intellectually disabled, but not for those with severe mental illness.

Authorities said Greene killed both of them after Armstead demanded the annulment of their marriage.

On the day of the murder, Armstead wrote two letters to Greene, telling her that although she loved him, she “had to do what is best for me.”

In his own letter, which was angry and implacable, Green expressed his belief that Armstead and his children were involved in a conspiracy against him.

“You asked to see the monster so here is the monster you made me… Those will be the 5 lives that take me to 5th place today,” Greene wrote.

Armstead was stabbed more than two dozen times, while Green drowned the Jazzmen in the bathtub of the house.

Authorities said Green also intended to kill Armstead’s two other children, then 9 and 12. Green stabbed the younger boy but both survived.

“Told (Green) because we are too young to die and we will not tell anyone about it,” the 9-year-old told jurors in testimony about how he persuaded Green to spare his life.

Josh Healy, one of the prosecutors for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office who convicted Green, said the boys were incredibly brave.

Hara “was an evil man. It was one of the worst cases I’ve ever been a part of,” said Healy, who is now a defense attorney in Dallas.

Montgomery said she still has a close relationship with Armstead’s two sons. They both lead productive lives and one has a daughter who looks like Jazzmen.

“I think they are still suffering a lot,” said Montgomery, who is a special education English teacher.

Montgomery, who is a deacon at his church in Dallas, said he continues to live his life like his daughter, including throwing her a party every birthday. He also had a high school graduation party for her, which included a parade to his grave and a backyard barbecue with the family.

“It was my way of dealing with it, to realize that he was still here. I prayed at his grave one day and I told him that I would never let his name be diminished,” Montgomery said.

Green’s execution is the first of two executions taking place in Texas this week. Another inmate, Arthur Brown Jr., is to be executed on Thursday.

Green will be the fourth inmate in Texas and the eighth in the US to be executed this year.

Green is one of six Texas death row inmates who are part of a lawsuit to stop the state’s prison system from using expired and unsafe execution drugs. Three inmates have been executed this year, despite a civil court judge in Austin initially agreeing with the claims.



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