Texas teenager, Antonio Armstrong Jr. is facing life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years, for allegedly shooting to death his former NFL player father Antonio Armstrong Sr. and his mother Dawn. On Wednesday, a Harris County judge ruled that Armstrong will be tried as an adult.
Rick DeToto, Armstrong Jr.’s attorney, said that his client was “obviously disappointed” by the decision, however they knew that it was a possibility for the 17-year-old.
“We’ve been telling him since the first time we met him that he could be tried as an adult based on the offense and the court,” DeToto said, as reported by the Houston Chronicle.
DeToto also continues to maintain his client innocence, stressing the killings weren’t committed by the teenager, but by an unknown masked intruder. At the time of the murders, the police did find a gun and a note that read, “I have been watching you for some time.” But as we previously reported, officials believe that was planted by Armstrong Jr. in an attempt to cover up the crime. In addition, nothing else in the home was out of place and there were no signs of a forced entry.
The motive behind the murders is still unknown, but according to The Daily Mail when police searched the teen’s room, they allegedly found a crack pipe.
Prosecutor Martina Longoria told the court that the defendant admitted to a homicide detective that he had discharged a gun in his room before his parents were murdered. She also released audio from Armstrong Jr.’s 911 call, on which the then-16-year-old said he heard gunshots from his parents’ bedroom and saw a masked man fleeing the scene.
The Daily Mail noted that police were called to the Armstrongs’ home in the affluent Houston suburb of Bellaire on July 29, 2016. Dawn was found dead at the scene, while Antonio was rushed to a hospital, where he later died. The couple was shot in the head.
Armstrong Jr. has an older brother and younger sister, who was at home during the time of the double-homicide. Thankfully, they were not harmed.
Longoria called the case ‘tragic.’
‘The family seems beautiful, but on the other hand you have something really sinister happening. It presents an interesting dichotomy,’ she said.