Heather Armstrong is a guest of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for Tuesday’s State of the Union. Armstrong is the granddaughter of Gerald and Sharon David, a couple killed by an undocumented immigrant earlier this month, police say.
Armstrong will be joined by her daughter, Madison Armstrong, and her mother, Debra Bissell, to represent three generations of the David family.
The Davids, both in their eighties, were killed by an undocumented immigrant during a home robbery in Reno earlier this month, police say.
The suspect, 19-year-old Wilber Martinez-Guzman, has been charged with murdering the Davids and two other women, as well as dozens of burglary charges.
President Trump is expected to make border security a key part of his speech. According to ICE, Martinez-Guzman entered the country illegally from El Salvador.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Heather Armstrong Will Be Trump’s Guest for the State of the Union
Heather Armstrong will attend the State of the Union Tuesday as a guest of President Trump and Melania Trump, The White House announced Monday.
Armstrong, the granddaughter of Gerald and Sharon David, will be joined by her mom Debra Bissell and her daughter Madison Armstrong.
Armstrong is a photographer in Redding, California.
The White House said in a news release:
Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, were tragically murdered in their home in Nevada by an illegal immigrant in January 2019. The terrible loss has devastated both their community and three generations of their family who will be represented at the State of the Union: the Davids’ daughter Debra, granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison.
The Trumps’ other guests include Joshua Trump, a boy that was bullied in school over his name, Grace Eline, a young cancer survivor, former opioid addict Ashley Evans, Pittsburgh synagogue shooting first-responder Timothy Matson, Pittsburgh synagogue shooting survivor Judah Samet, Alice Johnson, a woman sentenced to life in prison who was granted clemency by Trump, Tom Wibberley, the father of a Seaman killed on the USS Cole, lumber plant manager Roy James, Matthew Charles, the first prisoner released under the First Step Act, and Elvin Hernandez, a Special Agent with the Trafficking in Persons Unit of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations division.
2. Armstrong’s Grandparents Were Killed by an Undocumented Immigrant: Police
Wilber Martinez-Guzman, 19, was arrested by police in Nevada on January 19. Martinez-Guzman was detained for entering the country illegally while police investigated the murders.
Police say Martinez-Guzman, who entered the country illegally from El Salvador over a year ago, broke into homes and used weapons found during the robberies to kill his victims.
Two of the victims were Armstrong’s grandparents, 81-year-old Gerald David and 80-year-old Sharon David.
3. Wilber Martinez-Guzman Was Charged With Murdering Gerald & Sharon David, 2 Others
Martinez-Guzman was charged with the murders of the Davids ten days after his arrest. He was also charged with killing 74-year-old Sophia Renken and 56-year-old Connie Koontz in their homes days before killing the Davids, CNN reported.
Martinez-Guzman is charged with four counts of murder and dozens of counts of burglary and possession of stolen property.
He is being held on $500,000 bail.
He is being held in Carson City and is expected to be transferred to Washoe County to face charges.
4. President Trump Cited The Murders in His Push for a Border Wall
President Trump cited the murders two days after Martinez-Guzman’s arrest to call once again for his proposed border wall.
“Four people in Nevada viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our Country,” the president tweeted. “Two large Caravans from Honduras broke into Mexico and are headed our way. We need a powerful Wall!”
Police told CNN that Martinez-Guzman had been in the country illegally for over a year.
He lived in Carson City, where his mother and family members also live, and worked construction and odd jobs.
5. Trump is Expected to Highlight Davids’ Murders in SOTU Speech
Armstrong’s invite is no doubt related to the core of the president’s State of the Union message: border security.
The New York Times reported that Trump is expected to make the case for his proposed border wall once again in his speech.
The Washington Post noted that Trump has repeatedly claimed that undocumented immigrants cause crime in the United States but multiple studies have shown that undocumented immigrants commit crimes at a far lower rate than undocumented immigrants.
Trump has also claimed that a wall is necessary to stop the flow of illegal drugs though the administration admits most of the drugs are smuggled through legal ports of entry. And while the president has repeatedly raised concerns about “caravans” of immigrants traveling up to the border, the majority of those are asylum seekers who are applying for refugee status at legal ports of entry. The number of border apprehensions has dropped from 220,000 per month in 2000 to less than 40,000 per month in 2018.