HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A jury deliberating in the trial of Antonio "AJ" Armstrong, Jr. Thursday has sent a second note to the judge saying they are hopelessly deadlocked, after asking for tips to break it earlier.
Jurors have sent a second note to the judge saying they are hopelessly deadlocked in the murder trial for AJ Armstrong who’s charged with murdering his parents in July 2016. The judge told them to continue working on coming up with a unanimous verdict.— Damali Keith/News Journalist (@DamaliFox26) April 25, 2019
AJ Armstrong jurors just sent a note to the judge asking for tips on how to break a deadlock. Armstrong is charged with murdering his parents in July 2016 when he was 16 years old.— Damali Keith/News Journalist (@DamaliFox26) April 25, 2019
Amstrong is charged with capital murder in the death of his parents, Antonio and Dawn Armstrong, as they slept in their Bellaire home in July 2016 when he was only 16 years old.
The jury deliberated for three hours on Wednesday after hearing two weeks of testimony. They've heard from police officers, forensic experts and even AJ’s younger sister about the night her parents were killed.
During closing arguments on Wednesday, the defense pointed to the fact the state never solidified a motive for why AJ would've killed his parents. The defense also once again attempted to shift blame potentially to AJ's older brother Josh, who they say is mentally unstable.
The state countered saying they don't have to prove motive, and they claim even with a lack of DNA evidence the circumstances speak for themselves.
”To commit the crime that occurred in this case, you'd have to be evil,” Defense Attorney Rick Detoto told jurors.
"I don’t know if it’s evil. I don’t know if it's a sociopath. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something wrong with him,” countered Prosecutor John Brewer.
So will jurors believe AJ placed these pillows over his parents' heads and shot and killed Dawn and Antonio Armstrong Sr. as they slept, or did investigators make a mistake?
”They don’t have a motive. AJ wasn’t angry. He wasn’t upset,” said Detoto.
”Was it the defendant was falling from his very high spot as the big man on campus? Was it his daily drug use or drug dealing?” asked prosecuting attorney Lester Blizzard.
"I never said he was an angel, but they’re asking you to take that and jump over to killing two people. Not just two people, his parents,” Detoto added.
The jury was sent home at 5 p.m. Wednesday.