Documents: Antonio Armstrong Jr.’s brother says he witnessed slaying of parents

Antonio Armstrong Jr. awaits the beginning of his murder trial in Houston on April 2, 2019. (KPRC)

HOUSTON – The brother of Antonio Armstrong Jr. admitted to psychiatric evaluators that he witnessed the slaying of his parents nearly four years ago, according to court documents.

In a motion filed by attorneys representing Armstrong in his murder trial, the defense said that records from Westpark Springs Hospital where Armstrong’s brother, Joshua Armstrong, was being treated, indicate Joshua Armstrong made several statements that he saw the 2016 killings of his parents Antonio Armstrong Sr. and Dawn Armstrong.

Prosecutors have accused Antonio Armstrong Jr. of shooting his parents while they were sleeping at their Palmetto Street home.

Antonio Armstrong Jr. has maintained his innocence, saying a masked person came into the home and killed his parents.

“We have concrete, crystal-clear evidence that someone else was in the house at the time of the murders,” defense attorneys said.

In the motion filed Thursday, the defense argued that Joshua Armstrong’s statements prove that someone else was in the home when the slayings happened.

“The importance of these records cannot be overstated,” defense attorneys wrote in the documents. “Joshua Armstrong admitted to witnessing the murder of his parents. Thus, he places himself inside of the Armstrong residence at the time of their murders.”

Defense attorneys said the new evidence "wholly, completely undermines the state’s theory of the case that they presented in the first trial. They said that no one could have gotten in the house based on the alarm system, now that fails. They said that AJ was the only person that could have possibly done this, now that fails.”

The motion was part of an amendment to an earlier response filed by the defense regarding the admission of alternate perpetrator evidence.

John Donnelly, public affairs officer for the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, issued the following written statement about the defense’s motion:

“Antonio Armstrong Jr. shot his parents to death in their sleep. This case should be presented to the jury in the courtroom and we look forward to doing so. That is where the case belongs. We continue seeking justice for his victims Dawn and Antonio Armstrong Sr.”

The first trial of Antonio Armstrong Jr. ended in a mistrial in April 2019. His retrial has been postponed.