BELLAIRE, Texas - The jury is still deliberating the fate of Antonio (AJ) Armstrong Jr. who’s charged with murdering his parents in 2016.
Jurors have deliberated for about six hours Tuesday, four hours Monday, and they still haven’t reached a verdict.
On Monday, the jury asked to see the note left in the kitchen, which read ‘We’ve been watching you' that was left at the Armstrong home next to the gun used to kill Antonio Sr. and Dawn Armstrong.
This was a retrial for Armstrong, whose first capital murder trial ended in a hung jury back in 2019.
Armstrong was accused of killing his parents – former NFL linebacker Antonio Armstrong Sr. and Dawn Armstrong – when he was 16 years old.
During closing arguments, prosecutor Ryan Trask called the case "a parents' worst nightmare to come to the realization that the person you brought into this world would end your life."
Hours into deliberations today jurors in the Capital Murder trial for Antonio Armstrong Jr. asked for a list of witnesses in the order they testified and they wanted transcripts from the home alarm expert, and three Houston Police Officers.
What is some of the evidence, testimony and arguments jurors have to consider?
"There’s premeditation in this case. This defendant especially at a young age is extremely deceptive and his mother had started to figure him out," Prosecutor Ryan Trask told jurors during Closing Arguments.
Prosecutors say Antonio Jr. shot his parents to death as they slept in July 2016, after they say he first tried setting the house on fire two days earlier. "Do you remember who he blamed for that fire? He blamed his sister. Just like in the text messages with his mom, he blamed Kate (his girlfriend) for getting him in trouble. Just like he blames his brother for killing his parents," says Trask.
Defense attorneys are blaming AJ’s older brother Josh who suffers mental illness. Josh Armstrong was 19 years old at the time and lived in his own apartment down the street from his parents and two younger siblings.
During Antonio Jr's 16 minute 911 call Antonio Jr only said he heard gunshots in his parents room on the second floor of the house, near his sister’s bedroom. AJ’s room was on the third floor. Prosecutors told jurors there’s no way AJ would have been able to pinpoint which room the shots were fired in and they reminded jurors it was five hours later when Antonio Jr. told investigators he saw a masked man in their home.
"It was like a mask like you could only see the eyes and the mouth, but he looked like a Black guy, but I’m not 100% positive," AJ could be heard saying on the police interrogation recording.
Antonio Jr. also told the 911 dispatcher he heard a high-pitched sound in his ears.
"This one statement is a confession. There’s only one reason why you would have a high pitch in your ears is because you just fired a firearm inside a home," says Prosecutor John Jordan.
"They have to create a story and try to get you to believe their story of what happened," says Defense Attorney Chris Collings.
The defense told jurors in Monday's Closing Arguments the case is full of reasonable doubt.
"Do you have a doubt? Are you sure? We talked about it earlier. Are you going to be home the next day drinking coffee and say, ‘man, I’m not sure about this,’" Defense Attorney Rick Detoto told the jury.
Antonio Jr. admits he fired the murder weapon days before the murders, shooting through a pillow and comforter, leaving a bullet hole in his bedroom floor.
Investigators say the home alarm was set and all the doors and windows were locked when they arrived after the Armstrongs were shot. The only other person home was AJ’s 12-year-old sister Kayra Armstrong. Defense attorneys say the alarm system is flawed.
As of Tuesday evening, the jurors were still deliberating and would continue until 6 p.m.