Why prosecution appears to be 'winning' Armstrong trial so far

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With the murder trial against A.J. Armstrong approaching a virtual halfway point, a look at the case so far appears to give prosecutors the advantage, according to ABC13 legal analyst Steve Shellist.

"I think almost always, the state is winning in the first half of the case," explained Shellist, adding prosecutors are controlling the story at this point.

Over the first couple of weeks of the trial, prosecutors presented evidence from the scene and recordings that captured the environment of that night when Armstrong's parents were found shot.

RELATED: 'It's all my fault:' A.J. Armstrong's 911 call revealed as he's on trial for his parents' murders

Also during that time, emotional testimony came from character witnesses, including Armstrong's former football coaches and a girlfriend of the teen's brother. There was also the bombshell suggestion brought up by Armstrong's team: his brother Josh committed the killings.

"Well, I think the defense has to do what they have to do, even if it means possibly offending some of the jurors," Shellist opined. "You have to be creative. You have to present as many possible defenses as you can. And you have to present them with conviction and passion. That's their job. And if it means there's going to be casualties along the way, that's the nature of the business."

RELATED: Defense shifts focus to teen's brother in killing of parents

While the prosecution unpacked the physical evidence in this case, there are expectations that Armstrong's deeply supportive family members could testify.

"We've got another half to go," Shellist pointed out. "(Family testimony) could change things, 180 degrees."

Shellist also alluded to the trial's week-long layoff, raising concerns about whether jurors truly obeyed the judge's stern warning to not look up media coverage of the case.

"I mean, what happens if somebody tells you, 'There's a train wreck over there, don't look.' Your instinct is going to be to look," Shellist said.

FAMILY SHATTERED: The murder trial of A.J. Armstrong


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