Antonio Armstrong Jr.’s capital murder re-trial heads into Week 2

Antonio Armstrong Jr. and his attorneys Rick Detoto and Chris Collins (Jason Nguyen, Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – We’re headed into the second week of Antonio Armstrong Jr.’s third capital murder trial.

Last week, 17 witnesses were called on week one of the trial.

This is the third time AJ has been in court for the murders of his mother and father Dawn and Antonio Sr. back in 2016.

Week one ended with Judge Kelli Johnson expressing concerns about Dawn Armstrong’s cellphone. But jurors didn’t see this evidence.

The judge said she had concerns with the phone’s chain of custody because of how it was sent to an outside company to get into the password-protected phone.

We also saw emotion from AJ, and the mood of the courtroom change when his parent’s autopsy photos were shown to the jury. He visibly started crying. The prosecutors went to great lengths to only let the jury see the photos.

RELATED: Antonio Armstrong Jr. gets emotional during reading of mother’s autopsy report on Day 5 of capital murder re-trial

A lot of evidence went on display during the first week of the trial for jurors. Prosecutors brought everything out from the note and gun left on the Armstrong kitchen counter to the pillows placed on the parent’s heads.

Defense attorney Rick DeToto took this time to accuse the prosecution team of cross-contamination.

In court with the witnesses, he talked about the dry blood flaking off and what experts do to keep a clean environment while processing evidence in this trial.

RELATED: Antonio Armstrong Jr. trial: New DNA evidence, alarm system, HPD investigation all center of Day 1

More effective testimony came when prosecutors were talking to an expert from Alarm.com.

Prosecutor Trask pulled up AJ’s mother’s text stating, “The alarm doesn’t lie, you lie.”

He then showed text messages between AJ and his girlfriend, now wife Kate.

Trask was able to match that to the times AJ left the home to pick up his girlfriend, and when he came back. To him, this was proof of AJ’s lies.

RELATED: Text messages between Antonio Armstrong Jr. and his parents read on Day 2 of capital murder trial

Things are expected to pick back up with more expert witnesses this week, including the person who found the new DNA KPRC 2 Investigates first reported on.

Get a full recap of each day with the click2houston.com trial blogs:


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