Teen charged in deadly double shooting of parents could spend life in prison

HOUSTON – A teenager accused in the deadly double shooting of his parents was set to face a judge Monday as an adult, but he did not appear.

Antonio Armstrong Jr. waived his right for probable cause. His court date was reset to April 17.

According to new court documents, Armstrong Jr., 17, also known as AJ, planned and practiced killing his parents. 

AJ, the son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong Sr., is charged with capital murder in connection with the shooting that killed his father and mother on July 29.

The shooting was reported at a two-story home in the 5300 block of Palmetto Street, near Bellaire.

Houston police told Channel 2 that Armstrong and his wife were shot in their home. Armstrong's wife was shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene. Armstrong was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the head, but died later.

Court documents show that AJ shot both of his parents as they slept. He then tried to start a fire outside his parents’ bedroom and said it was an accident, according to court documents. 

Court documents said, AJ left a note on the kitchen counter to make police think an intruder broke in. The note said: “I have been watching for a long time, get me.”

A security alarm in the home was activated at 9:52 p.m., according to court records. A motion sensor went off on the second floor around 1 a.m. and in the living room at 1:30 a.m. AJ deactivated the alarm just before 2 a.m. when police arrived, court documents said.

Police said there was no signs of an intruder or a break-in, but a crack pipe and a pillow and a comforter set with bullet holes were found in AJ’s room.

"He is a 17-year-old kid in an adult jail, he is scared, he is having anxiety about what's going to happen, he is in an adult jail, he's surrounded by adults, he's a real smart kid, he is hanging in there," defense attorney Rick Detoto said.

A motive for the shooting has not been released.

Armstrong was a former professional athlete, physical fitness trainer and motivational speaker.

According to NFL.com, Armstrong played one season for the Miami Dolphins in 1995. He was previously an All-American linebacker for Texas A&M.

If convicted AJ could face life in prison. The death penalty is not on the table since he was 16 at the time of the his parents' deaths.

AJ will be eligible for parole after 40 years.

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