One man’s chilling text messages to his ex-girlfriend were initially considered harmless threats in the midst of an argument – words of little significance. However, the photos that followed the series of text messages were the foreshadowing of horrific events that would take place hours later. Unfortunately, his two sons suffered the blunt of his wrath.
According to the Daily Mail, Gabriel Armandariz is on trial for the 2011 murder of his two sons Gatlin, 2, and 8-month-old Luke. On Friday, Feb. 20, Gabriel’s chilling text messages and photos were revealed in court. Gabriel and his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Smith, had recently ended their relationship and Gabriel’s actions appear to be an act of revenge against his ex-girlfriend. He allegedly told her that he planned to kill their two sons.
The text messages were presented to the jury during a testimony by former Secret Service Jeff Shaffer, who is now part of the North Texas Electronic Crimes Task Force. Shaffer reportedly conducted an investigation to check the authenticity of the text message correspondence. He was able to confirm that the messages were authentic. After later examination, the seemingly odd and cryptic messages foreboded the murders of the two children.
Just hours before he allegedly killed their two sons, these are the messages Gabriel sent to his ex-girlfriend:
“I commend the spirits of these two boys to the Lord. I would much rather be with them than to be out partying with friends.”
“Look, I’m trying to offer you another opportunity to see our children. But as usual you would much rather be with your friends.”
Unfortunately, Lauren didn’t see the text messages as a threat. Prosecutor Lisa Tanner argues that Lauren was under the impression she was speaking with a woman visiting with Gabriel. She never suspected that he planned to kill their children until the messages and photos became more graphic. Here are her replies:
“If I were you I’d get the h— away from him. Looks can be deceiving.”
“Gabriel knows everything. When you think he’s not watching he is. When you are through playing house let me know.”
Then, to make matters worse, Gabriel didn’t stop with just text messages. He also sent disturbingly horrific pictures as a foreshadowing of the boys’ death just hours before strangling them. He snapped a final photo with the two boys before he allegedly strangled them. The text reportedly read, “We love u, goodbye.” New York Daily News revealed Gabriel also sent pictures of the couple’s 8-month old son what appeared to be a rope around his neck. The baby was hanging from a ceiling inside a closet.
Gabriel Armandariz’s trial began on Feb. 16. He is currently facing capital murder charges and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
[Image(s) via Facebook, Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office]