HOUSTON - There was a lot of talk Thursday in the murder trial for Antonio "AJ" Armstrong Jr. about what emotions he showed the morning his parents were murdered as day 3 of Armstrong’s re-trial continued.
According to defense attorneys Antonio Jr. was a kid who was traumatized and in shock after his parents were murdered but prosecutors say he didn’t show emotion because they say he was a 16-year-old who had just executed his own parents.
On the witness stand, a Houston Police officer described Antonio Armstrong Junior’s demeanor as eerie and calm after the murder of his parents former NFL player Antonio Armstrong Sr. and Dawn Armstrong. The officer spent five hours with Antonio Junior that early morning in July 2016, including to transport the teen downtown for questioning.
The defense asked the officer, "did you ever consider he was handcuffed and put into the back of your patrol car at 2 a.m. at the age of 16? If AJ wasn’t scared enough for his parents, now he’s being accused of it. Did you ever consider that?" And the officer answered, "no"
Prosecutors followed up with, while Antonio’s younger sister was "really upset" and nearly inconsolable after their parents were murdered at their Bellaire area home they claim AJ was the opposite and prosecutors asked the officer, "a teenager whose parents had just been killed wouldn’t you expect them to show emotion over a five-hour period?" And the policemen said, "yes."
Prosecutors showed jurors a pillow and comforter with a bullet hole through each, that they say AJ used to test fire the gun a couple of days before his parents were murdered as they slept.
Antonio Jr appeared to wipe tears as crime scene photos of his parents blood soaked bedroom were shown in court.
The gun used to murder the Armstrongs was left on the kitchen counter along with a pen and a note that was written on a pad of paper found in a kitchen drawer. The words "I have been watching for some time" were scribbled on that note.
No gunshot reside was found on Antonio Junior’s hands that day, which according to an investigator that testified isn’t unusual when the gun used is a .22 caliber handgun.
The trial has wrapped up for the day and will resume tomorrow morning.