A Texas inmate faces scheduled execution Tuesday night for fatally stabbing his estranged wife and drowning their 6-year-old daughter in a bathtub nearly 14 years ago.
Gary Green, 51, is reported to have received a lethal injection at her Dallas home in September 2009 in the deaths of Lovetta Armstead, 32, and her daughter Jazzmen Montgomery.
The girl’s father, Ray Montgomery, said he did not cheer Green’s execution, saying he saw the justice system at work.
“It is justice for the way my daughter was tortured. It’s justice for the way Lovetta was murdered,” Montgomery said.
As of late Monday, Green’s attorneys had not appealed to stop his execution, which was scheduled for Tuesday night at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.
In previous appeals, Green’s attorneys had claimed he was mentally challenged and had a lifelong history of psychiatric disorders.
“These impairments likely rendered (Green) incapable of developing the intent required to commit capital homicide,” Green’s attorneys wrote in 2018.
These appeals were dismissed by the US Supreme Court and the lower courts of appeal.
The Supreme Court has banned the death penalty for the mentally disabled, but not for those with serious mental illness.
Authorities said Green killed the two after Armstead tried to annul their marriage.
On the day of the murders, Armstead Green had written two letters, telling him that although she loved him, she “must do what was best for me.”
In his own angry and rambling letter, Green expressed a belief that Armstead and her children were involved in a conspiracy against him.
“You asked to see the monster, so here he is the monster you made me. …Your lives are being taken today as I am the 5th,” Green wrote.
Armstead was stabbed more than two dozen times while Green drowned Jazzmen in the home’s bathtub.
Authorities said Green also planned to kill Armstead’s two other children, then 9 and 12. Green stabbed the younger boy, but both survived.
“Told (Green) because we’re too young to die and we’re not going to tell anyone about it,” the 9-year-old told jurors as a witness of how he convinced Green to spare her life.
Josh Healy, one of the prosecutors with the Dallas County Attorney’s Office who convicted Green, said the boys were incredibly brave.
Green “was a bad guy. It was one of the worst cases I’ve ever been involved in,” said Healy, who is now a defense attorney in Dallas.
Montgomery said he still has a close relationship with Armstead’s two sons. He said both lead productive lives and one has a daughter who looks like Jazzmen.
“They’re still suffering a lot, I think,” said Montgomery, who is a special education English teacher.
Montgomery, a deacon at his Dallas church, said he continued to live his life as if his daughter were still here, including throwing her a party every birthday. He also had a high school graduation for her, including a parade at her grave and a backyard barbecue with the family.
“That was my way of dealing with it, making it feel like she was still here. I prayed over her grave one day and told her I would never let her name die,” Montgomery said.
Green’s execution is the first of two scheduled in Texas this week. Another inmate, Arthur Brown Jr., is scheduled to be executed Thursday.
Green would be the fourth inmate in Texas and eighth in the United States to be executed this year.
Green is one of six Texas death row inmates involved in a lawsuit aimed at stopping the state’s prison system from using allegedly expired and unsafe execution drugs. Although a civilian judge in Austin tentatively agreed with the allegations, three of the inmates were executed this year.