AJ Armstrong, accused of killing parents at 16 years old, faces trial in October

A.J. Armstrong is accused of killing his parents Dawn and Antonio Armstrong in 2016 when he was 16 years old.

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Monday, September 19, 2022
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The 22-year-old father himself is finally set to trial after a jury could not agree on his fate in 2019 regarding the accusations of him killing his parents at 16 years old.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A.J. Armstrong, accused of killing his parents at 16 years old, is officially set to face trial once again on Oct. 3, according to his defense attorney.

A.J. , now a 22-year-old father himself, has remained in judicial limbo for three years since a mistrial was declared in 2019 when the jury could not reach a verdict.

Due to court work backlog, his trial date in 2020 was pushed back twice.

In 2016, Dawn and Antonio Armstrong Sr. were murdered in their southwest Houston home.

A.J., 16 years old at the time, called 911, reporting that an intruder had shot his parents.

The couple was found in their bedroom with gunshot wounds to the head, investigators said.

Investigators said no evidence showed signs of a home invasion or scuffle.

A.J.'s 12-year-old sister was also home at the time of the shootings, but suspicion fell solely on the then-teenager. He was charged with capital murder and taken into custody.

RELATED: 'I didn't do it:' Accused killer A.J. Armstrong tells his story

For three weeks following the double murder, A.J. sat in juvenile holding with continuous support from family members, who've stood by him throughout the judicial proceedings.

In 2016, A.J. was denied bond and the judge refused to release the teen, despite his grandmother and attorney being ordered to outline a plan for his release.

A.J. turned 17 behind bars. A year older, the teen accused of killing his parents was certified to face capital murder charges as an adult.

RELATED: Teen accused of killing parents to stand trial as adult

During his first trial in late March 2019, A.J.'s attorneys tried to pin the murders on his older brother, who had moved out of the family home just before their parents' deaths.

In April 2019, a mistrial was declared after the jury could not reach a verdict after three days of deliberations. Eight jurors believed A.J. Armstrong was guilty, but four voted not guilty.

Now after years of delays, his retrial date has once again been set. One of AJ's attorneys, Rick DeToto, told Eyewitness News the retrial will likely last longer than the first trial. Attorneys expect jury selection alone to take at least three days.

If he would be found guilty, A.J. could face spending the rest of his life in prison.

RELATED: AJ Armstrong jury 'hopelessly deadlocked' over murder verdict