HOUSTON - Was Antonio "A.J." Armstrong Jr. capable of doing what the state says he did? Could he have opted one early morning in July 2016 to kill his parents? Those were the questions being asked Monday in his murder trial.
Not the least bit, testified Kate Ober, Armstrong's girlfriend.
Prosecutors contend Armstrong, 19, shot his parents at the family’s home in the 5300 block of Palmetto Street in southwest Houston.
Dawn and Antonio Armstrong Sr. were asleep in their bedroom when they were shot. Their son, who was 16 years old at the time of the shooting, maintains his innocence.
The younger Armstrong and Ober were dating the morning his parents were killed. Armstrong's relationship with his parents, according to Ober, was "really good."
Ober said she and Armstrong messaged one another throughout the day every day and the days leading up to the shooting were no different.
The defense asked Ober how Armstrong's demeanor appeared on the day of the shooting.
Normal, Ober testified.
The defense also brought up a text exchange Ober had with Armstrong hours before the shooting, which included advice from Armstrong Sr.
The defense's point in having Ober testify was to explain to jurors Armstrong was normal seemingly minutes before his parents' death.
During cross-examination, prosecutors turned to what has become their go-to in the case: The trove of texts and other messages extracted from Armstrong's mobile devices.
Prosecutors pressed Ober on her knowledge of Armstrong's parents disdain over his spending. Seven-hundred dollars in gas for one month, his marijuana usage and whether Armstrong was honest about everything.
Ober stood behind her boyfriend and said he's innocent.
After the killings, after Armstrong had been arrested, charged and placed in juvenile detention, there was another exchange between him and Ober.
"You lied to me about Kinkaid, little stuff like that. I feel like you never give me the truth and always lie to me," Ober texted.
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