AJ Armstrong files motion for 4th trial after being convicted of parents' 2016 murder 1 month ago

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Friday, September 15, 2023
Reporter's Notebook: AJ Armstrong Case
ABC13's Courtney Fischer takes you inside the AJ Armstrong case seven years after the murders of Dawn and Antonio Armstrong.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It has been one month since a jury found 23-year-old AJ Armstrong guilty of murdering his parents in their southwest Houston home in 2016. Now, the attorneys for the husband and father are looking to get him a fourth trial, according to court records.

The video above is a recap of the AJ Armstrong trial saga by ABC13 reporter Courtney Fischer.

This puts another segment into a seven-year saga as Armstrong went through two trials prior that resulted in hung juries.

RELATED: AJ Armstrong found guilty of capital murder of his parents

ABC13 has covered the case extensively since the murders happened in July 2016.

Armstrong's appellate attorney, Patrick McCann, filed the motion for the trial on Thursday, just one day shy of the 30-day deadline, adding a slew of mishapps occurred before the final verdict was given that warrants another trial.

The motion presented said there was an issue with a key witness named Officer Celestina Rossi, who is a blood spatter expert. Rossi was the woman who found the blood sample on Armstrong's T-shirt inside the crime lab, court documents read.

Defense attorneys for Armstrong also state that Rossi has been previously accused of planting evidence.

Additionally, the motion states there was an alternative theory regarding who could have murdered Dawn and Antonio Sr. that was conferred outside of the presence of a jury that should've been permitted into evidence.

It reportedly related to a hearing by someone who alleged that AJ's father, Antonio, was reportedly "running a prostitution ring outside of their family-owned gym in Bellaire," the motion stated.

According to the motion, McCann says the jury did not know any other alternative suspects.

Records note that the motion claims that AJ's sentence was "unconstitutional" because he was only a juvenile at the time of the crime.

SEE HERE: Timeline of deaths of AJ Armstrong's parents through his capital murder trials

AJ's former attorney, who was there at each trial, Rick DeToto, sent an affidavit, siding with the reasons stated in the motion presented by McCann, records show.

At this time, Armstrong is in custody at the Harris County Jail as he awaits transfer to prison.

RELATED: AJ Armstrong's new attorney appeared in court Friday to appeal murder conviction