AJ Armstrong Re-Trial: Alarm expert takes the stand to address possibility of intruder

A witness for the prosecution testified Wednesday saying with 100% certainty no doors or windows were opened at the Armstrong family home for hours before Antonio Sr. and his wife Dawn were shot to death. Their son Antonio "AJ" Armstrong Jr. is on trial accused of murdering his parents. 

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The alarm expert admitted when questioned by the defense there were problems with the system. As Prosecutors try to drive home to jurors, if records show no doors or windows were opened then there was no way an intruder went into the Armstrong's home and murdered Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong.

"Those records are not worth the paper they're written on," says Defense Attorney Rick Detoto.

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Both sides hope ADT alarm expert Tim Rader’s testimony will help their case. The defense for instance, told jurors in the month of July alone back in 2016 "There was at least 77 different errors in those alarm records. Those alarm records are absolutely useless," says Detoto.   

"There was 128 total (errors) between June and July only related to how people can come in and out of the house and the downstairs motion detector not even pick them up," adds defense co-counsel Chris Collings but prosecutors told jurors the first floor motion sensor wouldn’t be triggered if someone opened the door shortly after leaving, then reached into the door to grab something from a table, for instance.  

According to prosecutors and the alarm expert that testified the Armstrong family’s home alarm records show all windows and doors were closed when the alarm was set at 9:52 p.m. the night of July 28, 2016, when Antonio Sr. and Dawn Armstrong went to sleep and never woke up. 

 Prosecuting attorneys say their son Antonio Armstrong Junior was just 16 years old when they say he shot his parents to death as they slept in their Bellaire home.

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Early that morning on July 29, 2016, the home alarm expert says a second-floor motion sensor was triggered at 1:09 a.m. The second floor is where the parents’ bedroom was located and so was AJ’s 12-year-old sister’s room. 

AJ’s bedroom was on the third floor of the townhome. A data expert earlier testified that all activity on AJ’s cell phone stopped at 1:02 a.m., it was plugged into a charger at 1:04 a.m. and unplugged at 1:08 a.m. 

Rader testified the first floor motion detector was triggered at 1:25 a.m., several minutes after the second floor sensor had already activated. On the first floor on the kitchen counter is where the murder weapon was left along with a note which read, "I have been watching for some time." 

AJ called 911 at 1:40 saying he heard gunshots coming from his parents room. Investigators say officers arrived at 1:46 a.m. finding the home alarm still set and all the doors and windows closed.

"The whole state’s theory that the house was closed and no one could get into is nonsense," added Detoto. "Their own expert crashed and burned today."


"We have ADT coming in here saying how pristine these records are, and they’re infallible, no mistakes can be made and clearly ADT didn’t even know themselves how many mistakes were in the records," Collings added.  

Prosecutors, who finished presenting their case Wednesday did not speak on camera. The defense will begin calling witnesses when the trial resumes Thursday morning. 

"I feel confident that we have proven everything that I discussed with he jury in opening statement that leads to reasonable doubt," says Detoto.