Teen accused of killing parents released on $200,000 bond
HOUSTON – A teenager accused of his killing his parents last year was released from jail Wednesday on a $200,000 bond.
The bond was granted Tuesday about a month after a judge decided that Antonio Armstrong Jr., 17, also known as AJ, will be tried as an adult in the July 29 slaying of his father, Antoino Armstrong Sr., and his mother, Dawn Armstrong.
"Since he's been certified as an adult, he's been locked up 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. He's not an adult. He's a scared 17-year-old kid in custody," Armstrong Jr.'s attorney, Rick DeToto, said.
DeToto said the teen has been suffering from severe anxiety and was being medicated while he was in jail.
According to court documents, Armstrong Jr. planned and practiced killing his parents.
DeToto said the case against his client is circumstantial and that there is no DNA, no gunshot residue and no fingerprints.
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 Sr. and his wife were shot in their Palmetto Street home. His 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.
According to court documents, Armstrong Jr. 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.
The teen left a note on the kitchen counter, which read "I have been watching for a long time. Get me," according to court documents. The note was an effort to make police think an intruder had broken into the home, according to court documents.
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., according to court documents. Armstrong Jr. 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 the teen's bedroom.
A motive for the shooting has not been released.
Armstrong Sr. 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.
Armstrong Jr. has been charged with capital murder in connection with the case. If convicted, he 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. He would be eligible for parole after 40 years.