Father Accused Of Strangling Two Young Sons Allegedly Sent Photo Of Baby Hanging From Closet To Mother

| by Dominic Kelly

Chilling text messages between a 32-year-old man accused of murdering his two children and his estranged ex show the disturbing hatred the two had for each other and how it could have led to the young boys’ murders.

32-year-old Gabriel Armandariz allegedly strangled his two sons Gatlin, two years old, and Luke, eight months old, back in April 2011. The Texas dad reportedly went on to hide the boys' bodies in a crawl space under a house he shared with relatives. Now, during his capital murder trial, text messages between Armandariz and the mother of his children, Lauren Smith, paint a disturbing picture of the animosity between the two.

Reports say that just hours before the killings, Armandariz sent Smith a text that said, “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..”

A different text sent around the same time also reads, “Look, I’m trying to offer you another opportunity to see our children. But as usual you would much rather be with your friends.”

Prosecutors presented the text messages during testimony against Armandariz and explained that Smith likely didn’t know they were coming from her ex; the mother apparently believed the text messages were sent to her by Armandariz’s new girlfriend, as evident in her responses.

“If I were you I’d get the hell away from him. Looks can be deceiving,” one response from Smith read.

“Gabriel knows everything,” another response said. “When you think he’s not watching he is. When you are through playing house let me know.”

Even more disturbing than Armandariz’s chilling text messages was a photo that the father allegedly sent to Smith of their eight-month-old son Luke hanging from the ceiling of a closet with a rope around his neck.

Prosecutors are pushing for the death penalty if Armandariz is convicted.

Sources: Daily Mail, Star-Telegram / Photo Source: Daily Mail