Change of venue hearing today for AJ Armstrong's next murder retrial

With jury selection for the third murder trial of AJ Armstrong set to begin in less than a month, a hearing will be held on Monday afternoon to determine if the trial will be moved out of Harris County.

Armstrong is accused of murdering his parents as a teenager in 2016. His first two trials in 2019 and October of last year ended in hung juries.

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AJ Armstrong’s defense lawyers have an uphill battle ahead of them as it is ultimately the judge’s decision whether or not to move the trial outside Harris County. She has already made her stance clear in her initial filing less than two weeks ago, saying if it stays put, she believes the publicity surrounding the case would not allow for a fair and impartial trial.

There is no mention of where it would be held if taken out of Harris County.

MORE: A.J. Armstrong third murder trial set for February after mistrial in October

Armstrong’s lawyers have the task of changing her mind, considering jury selection was already set to begin in less than a month. In a 10-page objection filing, they bring up multiple arguments such as the fact that Harris County has a jury pool of 2.7 million people. They add that it’s entirely possible to find just 12 impartial jurors, and there were no issues in the last two jury selections.

They also point to the 14th Amendment, saying a change in venue would violate Armstrong’s equal protection, as Harris County is vastly more diverse than the surrounding counties.

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The defense plans to call on some notable witnesses to testify in support of their case. That includes Mayor Sylvester Turner, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

FOX 26 did get word from the Mayor’s Office that their legal department has filed a motion to throw out Turner’s subpoena ahead of the hearing.