AJ Armstrong transferred to S. Texas prison unit after conviction in parents' murders

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Friday, September 22, 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.

BEEVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- A.J. Armstrong, whose promising young athlete narrative became an important part of the murder trials against him, is now in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice population.

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

The man who was convicted last month of killing his parents - Antonio Sr. and Dawn Armstrong - was transferred this week to the Garza West Unit in Beeville, Texas, which is 181 miles southwest of Houston and roughly an hour drive from Corpus Christi.

Eyewitness News reporter Courtney Fischer, who has followed the twists and turns in the seven-year saga from the beginning, learned Armstrong is being locked up in an all-male facility with a capacity of 2,278 prisoners. It's not immediately known, though, how many total inmates are currently there.

In addition, the Garza West Unit may or may not be where Armstrong will serve his life sentence, which comes with the possibility of parole after 40 years. TDCJ told ABC13 that it's an intake facility that also houses inmates indefinitely.

Fischer asked TDCJ if this is his indefinite home, but officials could not immediately confirm.

In any case, Armstrong also has a new booking photo to go along with the transfer, showing him in prison-issued clothing. He's now assigned inmate number 02464321.

AJ Armstrong is seen in this booking photo taken in September 2023 as he was transferred to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility.
Inset image: TDCJ; Background image: File photo from Shutterstock

Armstrong had been housed at the Harris County Jail since his conviction on Aug. 16 at the end of the third trial against him.

Earlier this month, Armstrong's attorney, Patrick McCann, filed a motion for a fourth trial, citing a slew of mishaps occurring before the final verdict, which 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.

Armstrong's attorneys 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 the parents that was conferred outside of the presence of a jury that should've been permitted into evidence.

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

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

The appeal is being considered along with a federal civil lawsuit against the city of Houston, claiming the same evidence mishandling.

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

AJ ARMSTRONG SPEAKS: Teen suspected of killing his parents in their SW Houston home gives his side

From crime scene to courtroom: Courtney Fischer takes you inside the AJ Armstrong case

ABC13's Courtney Fischer opens up about her exclusive interview with Armstrong, who is accused of killing his parents.