Sometimes fathers rights people get into pious moralizing about evil boyfriends or stepdads, as if biological fathers were somehow pure and just in all things. When you look at the history of a guy like GARY GREEN, you realize how useless those distinctions are.
Green just got the death penalty for stabbing his wife to death, drowning her 6-year-old daughter, and essentially torturing her two sons. Oh, but that's a stepdad right? But these boys thought of Green as their dad and loved him as a dad. And notice that this guy also once choked a woman unconscious who was pregnant with "his" child. Guess that DNA link didn't help that unborn baby, huh? It's time we realized that scum is scum. To some extent, "boyfriends" or "stepdads" may be more prone to these things only because abusers and criminals aren't exactly known for their loving, long-term commitments to their partners.
Killer of woman, child in Oak Cliff gets death penalty
10:18 PM CDT on Friday, November 5, 2010
By SELWYN CRAWFORD / The Dallas Morning News
Moments after a Dallas County jury sentenced Gary Green to death for fatally stabbing his wife Lovetta Armstead and drowning her 6-year-old daughter, the woman's two sons spoke to him in stirring victim impact statements that moved even veteran courtroom bailiffs to tears.
"Hey, Gary," the youngest boy said cheerily as he peered out from the witness stand Friday at a stone-faced Green, who had also stabbed him in the stomach on that night in September 2009 after asking the boys – now 10 and 13 – why he should let them live.
"I loved you and thought you would never betray me like this. To me, you were my father, and I loved you like my own father. But I'm not going to let you take over my life. And I do hope that you suffer."
His older brother followed him to the stand and immediately issued a challenge to the man who killed his mother and sister Jazzmen.
"Gary Green, I want you to look me in the eye right here, right now and listen to what I have to say to you. You are nothing but a coward. You take other people's lives to make your own life better. I hope you feel pain like my mother and my sister. And I hope you die."
Green, 39, never looked at the boys as they spoke, or showed any emotion to the packed courtroom. He also didn't look a few minutes later when Dallas County prosecutors played a 33-second video of Jazzmen that caused audible sobbing throughout the courtroom. After the video, the girl's father, Ray Montgomery, addressed his daughter's killer.
"I hope you know how much you destroyed our lives, all because of your wrongdoing," Montgomery said. "You took my world when you took her life. All I wanted to hear from you was to say, 'I'm sorry,' or own up to what you did to my daughter. But you couldn't even do that."
Outside the courtroom, Montgomery said that the trial and having the chance to address Green had given him some closure. He noted that evidence in the trial showed others had been assaulted by Green in the past, including a woman he choked unconscious while she was pregnant with his child. He said the guilty verdict and death sentence were for them, too.
"I feel my daughter and her mother got justice served," said Montgomery, 30. "But not just justice for them, but for all the other victims that this man has hurt."
Testimony in the case showed that Green was upset because Armstead wanted to leave him. On Sept. 21, 2009, Green hogtied Jazzmen with duct tape and a telephone cord, then carried her into her mother's bedroom. There, Green used several knives – breaking two – to stab Armstead 28 times, all in front of her child.
Then he filled a bathtub with water and drowned the bound child. He went and picked up the boys from church and brought them home. He then made them hug and kiss the lifeless body of their mother.
Defense attorneys Paul Johnson, Kobby Warren and Brady Wyatt presented evidence showing that Green suffers from schizoaffective disorder, bipolar, which makes him wrongly believe that people are trying to hurt him.
"We tried to show the mental issues that we believed were an integral part of his life," Johnson said. "Obviously, the jury didn't agree with us. We're disappointed, but we don't quarrel with the verdict."
But prosecutors Andy Beach and Josh Healey said that it wasn't mental illness that drove Green to kill, but a selfish rage. And that rage, they said, is why he needed the death sentence.
"Gary Green is not a monster," Beach told jurors during Friday's closing arguments. "He's capable of monstrous conduct, but he's not a monster. He gets mad, he gets jealous, and then he gets violent. Wherever he is, Gary Green will always be a threat."