Gary Green, 51, was executed by lethal injection on 7 March 2023 in Huntsville, Texas for the murder of his wife and her daughter in their home.
Green lived with his wife, Lovetta Armstead, her two sons, Jerome - who went by J.T. - and Jerrett, and her daughter, Jazzmen Montgomery, in Dallas. They were married in June 2009 after living together for a year or two. According to Green's confession, about two months into the marriage, he discovered that Armstead, 36, was working to get an annulment. Armstead wrote two notes to Green, telling him that she loved him, but it was time for them to part ways and that he needed to move out. He did, but according to family members, he told Armstead that his parole officer would be checking up on him at their home on Monday 21, September, so she allowed him to spend the day there.
Armstead dropped J.T. and Jerrett off at church for a regular program at around 5:30 p.m. After she returned, she began reading a note Green left for her. In it, he wrote, "You asked to see the monster, so here he is, the monster you made me. Bitch. There will be five lives taken today, me being the 5th." While Armstead was reading this note in the master bedroom, Green, then 38, took knives from the kitchen and went into Jazzmen's bedroom. He tied the 6-year-old girl up with duct tape and telephone wire and put duct tape over her mouth. He brought her into the master bedroom and laid her on the end of the bed. He then took Armstead into the master bathroom, where a struggle began. He stabbed her more than 25 times over the course of about 90 minutes. She managed to grab the knife and inflict two superficial wounds on his shoulder. Once Armstead was dead, Green took Jazzmen into the master bathroom, filled the tub, and held the girl underwater until she drowned. He stated that she struggled so much, he had to turn his head. He pulled the dead girl from the tub and laid her face down on the floor. He then took a shower, changed into dress clothes - all black - and went to pick up J.T., 12 and Jerrett, 10 from church at 8:00 p.m.
The boys testified that they were surprised to see Green picking them up from church because their mother usually did that. J.T. also stated that Green's all-black attire was unusual. When they arrived home, Green told J.T. to take a shower and instructed Jerrett to put on his pajamas for bed. Green then called Jerrett into the kitchen to discuss some issues he was having in school. As Jerrett was explaining his problems, Green grabbed a knife, held it to his throat, and dragged him toward the bathroom. J.T. heard his brother calling out for help and that Green was going to kill him. J.T. stood at the bathroom door and saw Green holding Jerrett by his collar. Green threw Jerrett into the bathroom with J.T., entered himself, and locked the door.
Green sat on the bathroom counter with three knives beside him and asked the boys why he should not kill them. As the boys were pleading for their lives, Green stabbed Jerrett in the stomach. J.T. tried to push Green away, but missed. Green then told the boys that he was not going to kill them. He told J.T. to get dressed, because he had something to show them. As they were about to leave the bathroom, Green suddenly put the knife up to Jerrett's throat and tried to twist it in, but Jerrett ducked away and backed up. Green then paused and said, "All right. Come on." He led the boys into her mother's room. When they saw her body, they fell to their knees, crying. Green told them that he had to kill their mother because she wanted to divorce him and he "loved her to death" and did not want her to leave him. The boys also saw their sister's body in the master bathroom. Green changed clothes and told J.T. to hand him some pills that were on the dresser in the bathroom. He then threw a cell phone onto the bed and instructed the boys to call 9-1-1 after he left. J.T. testified that Green said he was going to kill himself. He made the boys give him a hug before he left in Armstead's car.
After Green left, the boys called 9-1-1 and ran to the home of their neighbor, Latasha Bradfield. She went next door and verified that Lovetta Armstead was lying on the floor of the bedroom and was not breathing. Police officers then arrived and found the two bodies, a bathroom covered in blood, and knives left in various places in the house. They found the notes Armstead and Green wrote to each other.
Green's mother, Mary Sampson, testified that police came to her house, looking for him. After they left, she phoned him. She said he sounded like he was under anesthesia or in a deep sleep. "I asked him what was wrong," she said. "He told me he just wanted to go to sleep and never wake up." She and another of her sons drove to pick him up, then brought him to the police station at 2:15 a.m. on Tuesday. When Armstead's car was searched, a package of Benadryl was found. 26 of the 28 pills in the package were gone.
Officers testified that Green agreed to waive his right to remain silent and gave a confession. They stated that Green was cooperative and answered every question asked of him. He told them he had a history of mental illness and had been in a mental hospital, Timberlawn, one month earlier. He stated that he thought his wife and children were plotting against him, and he heard voices telling him to commit the murders. He said he took the pills so that the family would be back together in heaven. Detective Robert Quirk characterized him as dejected and somewhat remorseful.
A forensic biologist testified that DNA taken from underneath Armstead's fingernails matched Green. The medical examiner testified that Armstead had more than 25 stab wounds, including a deep one in her back that punctured her right lung. Another examiner testified that Jazzmen died of lack of oxygen and found evidence that her mouth, hands, and ankles had been duct taped.
At Green's punishment hearing, Jennifer Wheeler testified that she was Green's girlfriend in high school. She broke up with him, then subsequently saw him at a bus stop near her house. She stopped to give him a ride. He then forced her into the passenger seat and drove to a park, where he attempted to strangle her with his shoelaces and stabbed her in the chest. He then drove her to the hospital. He pleaded guilty to aggravated assault.
Shulonda Ransom, the mother of Green's child, testified that he physically abused her by hitting and choking her while she was pregnant with their son.
Green had prior felony convictions for cocaine possession in 1989 and for robbing a grocery store with a deadly weapon in 1990. He received a 20-year prison sentence for the robbery conviction. Information on the amount of time he served and the date and circumstances of his release was not available for this report.
Green's attorneys claimed that he was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the killings and was not cognizant of what he was doing. His lawyers presented evidence of diagnosed schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as evidence of a family history of mental illness and abuse.
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