HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Three times A.J. Armstrong has been tried for capital murder, accused of killing his parents as they slept. Twice, a mistrial was declared when jurors couldn't decide on a unanimous verdict of guilty or not guilty. Now, a third jury determined A.J. was guilty of the crime.
A.J. was just 16 years old when his parents were both shot to death in their bedroom in 2016. It was a horrifying crime that kicked off a seven-year saga through the legal system.
July 29, 2016
Dawn and Antonio Armstrong, Sr., were found shot in their southwest Houston home. A.J. and his 12-year-old sister were in the home at the time. A.J. called 911, and was taken into police custody. Within a matter of hours, A.J. was charged in the killings.
A judge certifies A.J., by that time age 17, as an adult in the killings.
A judge sets bond at $200,000 and A.J. is released after months in custody. He is ordered to wear an ankle monitor, and has been ever since.
A.J.'s first capital murder trial begins.
The jury cannot reach a unanimous verdict and the judge declares a mistrial. They spent more than two days deliberating.
By the time A.J.'s second trial begins, he has become a father to a little boy, and married the woman who was his girlfriend at the time of the killings. Just weeks later, a mistrial is again declared. Jurors again deliberated for more than two days before saying they couldn't agree on a verdict.
Jury selection begins for the third trial. Over the course of three weeks, dozens of potential jurors were questioned thoroughly. The process took attorneys more than 150 hours.
With the jury already selected, the case is put on hold for a number of weeks while the judge considers possible new evidence in the case.
Seven years after the killings of Dawn and Antonio, A.J.'s third trial on the capital murder charges begins.
Attorneys present closing arguments and the jury begins deliberating the fate of A.J. on Tuesday, Aug. 15. The following afternoon, the jury reached a unanimous guilty verdict. A.J. received an immediate sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. At this point, he's a 23-year-old man who has worn a GPS ankle monitor all of his adult life.