Attorneys for Houston teen charged in parents' murder claim his rights were violated during hearing

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Attorneys for Antonio Armstrong, Jr. say the 19-year-old's rights were violated during his juvenile hearing that happened nearly two years ago.

On Tuesday, the defense filed a motion to quash, suppress and/or dismiss the juvenile certification hearing on March 8, 2017, in which a judge decided AJ should be tried as an adult.

AJ is charged with murdering his parents, Dawn and Antonio Armstrong, Sr., on July 26, 2016, while they slept in their southwest Houston home. AJ was 16 years old at the time.

AJ was last in court in September when his attorneys filed a motion to drop the murder charges, claiming prosecutors kept key witness evidence and recordings from the defense for months. The motion was denied.

RELATED: 'I'M INNOCENT': Houston teen AJ Armstrong gives his side as he awaits trial in murder of his parents

"I'm innocent," AJ told ABC 13's Courtney Fischer in an exclusive interview in September. "There was somebody else in that house that night and to know that this is something I'm being accused of, just makes everything so much worse."

That evidence came from a woman named Maxine Adams, friend to Dawn and Antonio, who told police Antonio had been involved in a prostitution ring and received death threats.

Tuesday's motion states: "Antonio Armstrong, Jr. was denied his right to confront and cross examine witness during the juvenile certification hearing in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments..."

TIMELINE: The AJ Armstrong murder case

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Timeline of events in the AJ Armstrong murder case

While defense attorney Rick DeToto waits for the judge to review their latest motion, he continues preparing for the trial set to start on March 29.

"He's anxious as the trial date is approaching. We're starting to really lock down and get prepared for trial," said DeToto. "We're having meetings with him. He's hanging in there as well as can be expected."

If AJ's case goes back to juvenile court, there will be another certification hearing.

Dane Schiller with the Harris County District Attorney's Office sent us this statement:

"The overwhelming evidence in this case sits on the defendant's chest like 8,000 pounds and he can't get out from under that. We look forward to presenting this case to a jury."


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