A Texas grand jury concluded on Wednesday that the son of a former NFL player was guilty of capital murder in the shooting deaths of his parents when he was 16 years old.
According to FOX 26 Houston, Antonio “A.J.” Armstrong Jr. received a 40-year sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release.
In 2016, Armstrong was accused of killing Antonio and Dawn Armstrong. Armstrong shot and killed his parents inside their Bellaire townhouse, according to the prosecution. Dawn Armstrong was declared dead at the scene, while Antonio Armstrong passed away from a head wound in a hospital.
Prior to this week’s conviction, there were two mistrials. Both in 2019 and 2022, the jury could not reach a consensus on the outcome.
Authorities stated the son’s account of a masked burglar at the time did not hold up, and an inquiry turned up no proof of a forced entrance. According to FOX 26 Houston, A.J. Armstrong called 911 and said, “It’s all my fault,” during a period of the 2019 trial.
In the first trial, the prosecution claimed that Armstrong shot both of his parents while covering their faces with a pillow, a claim that Armstrong refuted. In addition, the prosecution said that Armstrong fired a practice shot into his bedroom floor prior to the killings, tried to set the house on fire, and looked into ways to modify a car so that it would explode when it was turned on.
According to reports, Armstrong’s relationship with his parents was tense prior to the murders.
The family’s home alarm system was the focus of the third trial. Representatives of home security companies gave testimony regarding the precise times of motion sensors’ activating and how it was connected to the murders. At 1:09 a.m., a motion detector close to the parents’ bedroom began to sound. At 1:25 a.m., a different sensor went off close to where the murder weapon was discovered. After 911 was dialled, the alarm was silenced at 1:56 a.m.
Blood specks that were found on Armstrong’s clothing at the time of his arrest were also cited in the third trial. According to the district attorney for Harris County, when A.J. was first detained, the police placed a nametag sticker on his shirt, and two drops of blood from Antonio Armstrong Sr. were discovered on the back of the sticker. According to the station, forensic officials initially claimed that no DNA evidence had been uncovered.
According to reports, Armstrong sued the City of Houston after learning about the blood specks.
After excelling as a linebacker at Texas A&M University, Antonio Armstrong briefly played with the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers.