The two-and-a-half year old case against Gabriel Armandariz, the Graham man accused of killing his two young sons in 2011, is still being investigated.
The capital murder case has officially been turned over to the Texas Attorney General's Office from the 90th district, which encapsulates Stephens and Young Counties. According to Deputy Communications Director for the Texas Attorney General's Office Lauren Bean, the case is currently in the discovery phase, and no trial date has been set.
The Texas Department of Public Safety is currently testing the DNA evidence, which is now a requirement under Senate Bill 1292. The bill went into effect Sept. 1, and requires all DNA evidence to be tested in capital murder cases in which the state is seeking the death penalty.
SB 1292 was introduced to the legislature in pursuit of providing those accused the most fair trial possible. According to a press release from the Texas Attorney General's Office, the law ensures that any and all evidence that can be tested for DNA prior to trial should be tested.
Proponents of the bill say that on top of making sure innocent defendants don't suffer undue punishments, it also cuts down on lengthy appeals processes that can elongate the suffering of victims' families.
According to the March, 2013 press release: “Subjecting biological evidence to DNA testing in advance will also help prevent wrongful convictions.”
Bean said that there is no time line yet established for when the DPS will finish testing the DNA. According to an order from both the state and the defense in The State of Texas Vs. Gabriel Armandariz, 205 items have been sent to the Texas DPS for DNA testing in compliance with SB 1292.
Items being tested include shoes, t-shirts, belts, cell phones, a travel bag, carpet removed from the Armandariz house on Third Street and trace material from both victims' bodies.
Read the entire story in the Wednesday edition of The Graham Leader.