Sentencing Phase Continues for Gabriel Armandariz

Detention officers from the Young County Jail filled the Tarrant County Probation Center Tuesday. The prosecution called to the stand eight different detention officers that worked at the Young County Jail when Armandariz was incarcerated there.

The State is using those jailers to show the jury that Armandariz was not only violent outside the jail, but also suffered disciplinary action during the time he spent in the Young County Jail.

They named multiple occasions where Armandariz acted out. One jailer, Linda Wilson, told the jury she found homemade nunchucks inside his cell. She says the weapon was very sturdy, and could have caused harm.

The defenses countered by saying the nunchucks were a device Armandariz used for exercise, and pointed out, that no one was ever assaulted by the weapon.

Wilson also told the jury there was times when Armandariz had to be further isolated in a padded cell due to his behavior. In that cell he tore up the wall by ripping the padding off.

Another Young County jailer took over, Alicia Langford. Langford told the jury Amandariz flooded his cell. She said it caused problems for the entire jail and other inmates.

It was that incident that the officers told the jury that forced them to cut off the water going to Armandariz's cell. They said they did this to prevent further flooding issues.

The officers told the jury Armandariz was told to call out to jailers if he needed water for the commode or the shower. However, the detention officers told the jury, after being punished, Armandariz continued to act out.

The detention officers told the jury Armandariz began to urinate and defecate right beside his bed.

The jailers testified he did out of spite. The defense maintained the conditions Armandariz was forced to live in were unbearable and unacceptable.

The defense attorney's said it was upon their visit with their client that they forced the jail staff to clean up the mess.

All detention officers mentioned several different instances that Armandariz acted out. They said not only would Armandariz spit at some of them, and call them names, but he also attempted to cause destruction while he was in jail.

The officers told the jury about five different fires Armandariz started in his segregation cell. They said after an investigation, they found the source of the fire to be from the electricity in the outlet in his cell.

Officers said those fires forced some evacuation of prisoners, and forced unnecessary work and inconvenience to the other inmates.

The defense pointed out to the jury that no one was injured in the fires; the detention officers confirmed that in their testimony.  The defense attorneys told the jury Armandariz could have been attempting suicide.

The also claimed to find other contraband inside Armandariz's cell during his duration there. They found two sprite bottles containing a homemade alcohol substance. Something they told the jury they removed from his cell after discovery.

Also during his time in the Young County Jail, Armandariz assaulted another inmate. The detention officers told the jury he cause injuries to the inmate by punching him in his face. The inmate was sent to the ER and received 19 stitches for his injuries.

In cross-examination the defense claimed multiple incidents referred to were not properly investigated. They claimed the inmate attacked after he provoked Armandariz. They told the jury he had left threatening notes for Armandariz causing him to react.

One officer testified that Armandariz would verbally threaten him. The officer told the jury Amandariz said, "Just wait till I get to TDC. I'll send my people to take care of you."

The officers testified that there were occasions, due to his behavior, that they sent away visitors that came for Armandariz. Something the defense claims was unnecessary and unfair treatment.

The defense also claimed that for the four years Armandariz was in the Young County Jail he sought mental health treatment. Something they say was necessary, but he never received.

The defense claims Armandariz's mental health had a lot to do with his behavior in and out of jail. They will work to prove this when the state rests and the defense calls on their own witnesses.

Last to the stand today was Stephen Rogers, an expert from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison system. The prosecution called him to the stand to talk about the life Armandariz would have if he were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

The expert described for the jury that Armandariz would go into the prison system as a medium risk classification, a G3. He described multiple classifications that prisoners are labeled when they entered the prison system.

The system has six different categories. The G1 and G2 prisoners have the least restrictions and have lower sentences than other categories. The next category is G3, it is more restrictive than G1 or G2. The classifications begin to get more restrictive with a G4, G5 and Administrative segregation classification. But as a G3 that means he would still be free to live, move around freely, and work.

Rogers said Armandariz could become more restricted based on his behavior. Rogers said behavioral outbursts, like those in the Young County Jail, could have severe impacts on his classifications when he is in prison.