Antonio Armstrong Jr.’s third capital murder trial: Closing arguments start Tuesday

Both the defense and state have rested its cases on day 11 of the trial

Antonio Armstrong Jr. on June 1 2016 (Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – It’s the third week of Antonio Armstrong Jr.’s third capital murder trial.

The defense rested its case on Monday afternoon. In total, 31 witnesses took the stand during the entirety of the trial.

KPRC 2 will be live daily inside the courtroom and will document new details, along with everything you should know.

Aug. 14 - 3:30 p.m.

The state rests its case again. Closing arguments are set to begin Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. KPRC 2 will live stream the event.

Aug. 14 - 2:31 p.m.

The state called back Nathan Gates, with Harris County District Attorney’s Office Digital Forensic Investigation Unit. Over the weekend, Gates said he was able to extract text messages from Dawn’s phone between her and Josh, AJ’s brother.

The state showed several text messages between Dawn and Josh from June and July, leading up to the night of the murders. The text messages showed Dawn helping Josh search for an apartment and enroll in college back in Houston. There were also messages where Dawn vented to Josh about AJ’s behavior, in one of the messages, asking if she failed as a parent because AJ was being kicked out of school.

In the defenses’ opening statements, it was said that Josh had been kicked out of his parents’ home and cut off financially. With the new text messages, the state showed that Dawn never cut off Josh financially. Several messages showed her helping him furnish his apartment. Also, the messages showed that Dawn never kicked Josh out of their home, but instead planned and helped him find an apartment once he left Blinn College.

Aug. 14 - 12:36 p.m.

The state called Dr. Ian Lamourbux back to the stand after hearing from the defense psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Moeller.

Dr. Lamourbux testified that there Josh showed no indications of religious delusions and there were no signs at the crime scene. He also said AJ showed signs of homicidal ideation and premeditation before the murder of his parents with several of his actions, including setting fire to the carpet, shooting the gun in his room and the search of a car bomb found on his iPad.

Aug. 14 - 12:34 p.m.

The defense has rested its case.

Aug. 14 -10:23 a.m.

Houston Dr. Mark Moeller, a clinical psychiatrist and forensic psychiatrist, was called to testify about Josh Armstrong’s medical records on Friday. He was called to continue his testimony on Monday.

During Moeller’s testimony, he discussed Josh’s medical record in detail, specifically examining his first visit to the hospital in December 2016, months after his parent’s murder.

Moeller said Josh refused to take medication after his first hospital visit, according to his medical records, because the medicine made him feel nauseous. Moeller testified that he believes this contributed to Josh’s continued relapses. He also testified that Josh may have been experiencing psychotic episodes prior to his parents’ murders, although there’s no medical documentation of this, Moeller said his opinion is based on information he received from family members and listening to the family’s previous testimonies.

Moeller also mentioned Josh may have been experiencing religious delusions before the murder of his parents. Saying, the family told him Josh was caught in a blank stare several times while attending church and would constantly go in and out during the service. When talking about the crime scene, specifically the note left behind, Moeller said the person who wrote the note was angered and possibly considered themselves to be God or the devil.

When the state cross-examined Moeller, they pointed out the fact that there were no medical records or indications of Josh having psychotic episodes before the murder of his parents.

Aug. 14 -10:00 a.m.

Judge Kelli Johnson enters the courtroom. The jury enters shortly after.

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