HOUSTON - One defense witness seemed to back up what prosecutors have been saying in the capital murder trial for Antonio Armstrong Jr., who is charged with murdering his parents back in 2016.
Testimony is expected to wrap up tomorrow, but today Antonio Jr’s former football coach testified that AJ’s mom was the disciplinarian and "more hard on him", which is what prosecutors say drove Armstrong to murder his parents as they slept.
Before he was on trial for capital murder, Antonio Armstrong Jr. was a 16-year-old football player at Kincaid High School.
However, in the summer of 2016 prosecutors say AJ’s failing grades, alcohol, and drug use caused such an issue with his parents, Antonio Sr. and Dawn Armstrong, it led AJ to shoot his parents in the head in their Bellaire home using his dad’s handgun. His mom was shot twice.
AJ’s former coach Stephen Hill testified AJ seemed to have a good relationship with his father and "his dad was always pushing him to be the best he could be". When asked about AJ’s mom the football coach answered, "she was more hard on him."
Hill says when AJ was failing out of Kincaid and wanted to play football at another private school where the coach was headed. He spoke with AJ’s father and mother and recalled, "She was angry. Her exact words were ‘I’m not paying another dime to send this liar to private school when we can send his lying a** to Lamar’".
Outside the presence of the jury, the defense tried to convince the judge to allow surveillance video and testimony about the Armstrong family's gym which was burglarized after the couple was killed. It was presented in the first trial, but the judge isn’t allowing it this time.
Prosecutors say the Armstrong's were murdered in July 2016 while their home alarm was set and all the windows and doors were closed, but defense attorneys say those alarm records are flawed. The defense is pointing the finger at AJ’s older brother Josh who was 19-years-old at the time and lived down the street from the family. He also suffers from mental illness.
The trial is set to resume at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning with closing arguments expected on Monday.