HOUSTON - Day two of the capital murder re-trial for Antonio "AJ" Armstrong Jr., who is accused of killing his parents when he was just 16-years-old as they slept.
The now, 22-year-old AJ Armstrong put his face in his hand and looked down at the defense table as prosecutors showed pictures of Armstrong’s parent’s bloody bedroom where they were shot and killed back in July 2016 in their Bellaire-area home.
Three Houston Police officers took the witness stand, telling jurors how when they arrived at the double murder of former NFL Player, Antonio Armstrong Sr. and his wife Dawn Armstrong. In their testimony, they said all the evidence pointed to then 16-year-old Antonio Armstrong Jr.
This included no forced entry into the Armstrong’s Bellaire area home, the gun used in the murders was found in the kitchen and the only other person home was AJ’s younger sister.
Prosecutors said the home alarm was set and records show it was never shut off and no doors were opened until officers arrived after Antonio Jr. called 911 around 1:40 a.m. saying he heard gunshots in his parent’s room.
Prosecuting attorneys also said there would have been no way for him to distinguish from his third floor bedroom if the shots occurred in his sister’s room, which was also on the second floor near their parents.
EMT Jason Williams testified he arrived finding Mrs. Armstrong shot dead in her bed and Mr. Armstrong beside her, struggling to breathe with a pillow over his head. Prosecutors say the pillow is significant because days before the murder Antonio Jr. test fired the gun through a blanket and a pillow, sending a bullet through the floor of his third floor bedroom and into his parents second floor room.
Defense attorneys are blaming Antonio Junior’s oldest brother Josh, who according to the defense felt like "the black sheep of the family" because he wasn’t Antonio senior’s biological son, and he also suffers mental illness. Portions of his medical records were read in court saying Josh "is psychotic…calling out God’s name and the devils’…is delusional…has attacked his brother and attempted to set fire to the house."
The defense pointed out the documents also say Josh "experienced watching the murder of both of his parents". Prosecutors say that simply means he lived through the ordeal, and they say Josh’s mental health "spiraled out of control after the murders".
The defense also said Josh was the only other person who had access to the home, which according to the defense, had one door that didn’t always close tight causing the home alarm not to activate for that zone but prosecutors said whether the door was bypassed or activated for the door, they say the alarm records show no doors were opened until officers arrived.
The trial will continue at 9:00 a.m.