'Somebody shot my parents,' Brother's ex-girlfriend testifies at teen's murder trial

By Brandon Walker - Reporter

HOUSTON - The defense called an ex-girlfriend of AJ Armstrong's older brother to the witness stand Tuesday, in day six of the 19-year-old's capital murder trial. 

Hannah Pilon testified that she was the ex-girlfriend of Joshua Armstrong, the eldest son of Dawn and Antonio Armstrong Sr. 

Pilon testified the pair were dating on July 29, 2016, the morning Antonio Sr. and Dawn were fatally shot. 

Josh Armstrong lived in an apartment complex located near his parents' home. The night of the shooting, Pilon testified she, Josh, and Josh's cousin were at the apartment. She said she went to bed around 10 p.m., leaving the pair playing video games. 

"I can't remember exactly what time I'd woken up," Pilon testified, referring to the next time she saw her boyfriend -- after he received word Dawn and Antonio Sr. had been shot. 

Pilon testified Josh walked into the bedroom to grab a shotgun. He then left, she said. 

Minutes later, Pilon testified she called Josh. 

"He said, 'Somebody shot my parents. They're gone. They're gone,'" Pilon testified. 

Prosecutors allege Josh's brother, AJ, shot his parents as they slept. 

AJ's defense claims Houston police hastily identified AJ as the trigger man, failing to properly investigate Josh Armstrong. 

During cross-examination, Rick DeToto, AJ's defense attorney, asked Pilon if she remembered Josh moving personal belongings from AJ's room at his parents' house, to the apartment. 

Pilon testified she could not remember. 

Following Pilon, jurors sat through lengthy testimony from an expert on gunshot residue. 

Jason Schroeder is the trace lab manager at the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science. 

As KPRC2 reported, Schroeder tested AJ Armstrong, as well as siblings Joshua and Kayra Armstrong, for gunshot residue. 

AJ tested negative for gunshot residue. His siblings did too. 

Despite that, the prosecution wants jurors to know gunshot residue isn't always visible on the shooter. 

The prosecution asked whether it is possible to fire and not have any gunshot residue on the shooter.

"Yes, it is," answered Schroeder. 

Schroeder conducted five gunshot residue reports for the Armstrong case, one for AJ, one for each of his two siblings, and one for each for his two pieces of clothing AJ wore. 

The conclusion was that there was no gunshot residue.

Thus, a crucial question remains for jurors.

Despite there being no trace of gunshot residue on his hands, clothes, was it AJ? 

Court isn't scheduled to resume until next week. 

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