AJ Armstrong's 3rd murder trial delayed until July 31 due to 'ongoing issue,' judge says

Courtney Fischer Image
Monday, June 12, 2023
AJ Armstrong's 3rd murder trial delayed until July, judge says
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Opening statements were supposed to be delivered on Monday, but jurors did not show up after the judge said there is "an ongoing issue that must be addressed."

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Opening statements were supposed to be delivered Monday in the murder trial for A.J. Armstrong, the now 23-year-old accused of killing his parents in their southwest Houston home back in 2016. The judge announced the case will now be delayed until July 31.

This is the second time the third trial has been delayed. It was supposed to start last Monday.

If you've followed this case for the past seven years, you've seen many delays, hearings reset, and so many twists and turns. ABC13's Courtney Fischer has spoken with many attorneys over the years about the Armstrong case, many of them saying this case is unreal.

SEE ERLATED STORY: AJ Armstrong trial: Presiding judge determining if robbery video should be admitted into evidence

Judge Kelli Johnson says there is an "ongoing issue that must be addressed."

This "ongoing issue" is what prompted the first delay last week.

There was a long discussion between prosecutors and defense attorneys in the judge's chambers. We weren't privy to it as it was super secretive, and the only thing the judge said publicly in the courtroom was, "an issue has developed outside the court's control."

There is no comment on what the issue may be.

In addition, because Judge Johnson ruled for Armstrong's third capital murder trial, video of what happens in the courtroom will not be allowed until closing arguments and the verdict. This is much different from the first two trials when you saw witnesses testify daily.

Picking the jury took three weeks. ABC13 listened to more than 150 hours of in-depth, one-on-one questioning. They have 16 people -- 12 jurors plus four alternates - but the judge initially told them they'd only be on this case until the end of June, at the latest.

SEE ALSO: Jury picked for AJ Armstrong's 3rd murder trial set

The trial is expected to take between two and three weeks.

If there are more delays, something to consider is how that will affect the jury, but we won't know the answer to that until the trial starts.

Now, the trial is set to start July 31 at 10:30 a.m.

See more of ABC13's seven-year coverage on A.J. Armstrong's murder trial.

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