A Houston teen who is accused of killing his mother and former NFL player father in their sleep is blaming a prostitution ring for his parent’s murders.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Antonio Armstrong Jr., who was 16 when his parents Dawn and Antonio Armstrong were killed, was charged with capital murder for the 2016 murders. Armstrong Jr. will be tried as an adult faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted.
Although police were certain the younger Armstrong was responsible for the killing, Armstrong’s defense lawyers have accused the Harris County District Attorney’s office of concealing an audiotape of an interview that could prove someone else committed the murders.
Armstrong’s attorneys say a woman named Maxine Adams, who was a friend of the couple, is heard in an audio recording giving Houston police details about a prostitution ring the older Armstrong was involved in and death threats the family received.
“The reason the audio is so important is because she’s very specific about this prostitution ring. She gives names, she gives phone numbers, she gives how it works, she talks bank accounts and Facebook stuff,” defense attorney Rick DeToto told the Chronicle.
DeToto also said the 18-month delay in finding out about the specific allegations denied his client’s right to a fair trial and “it could be considered obstruction of justice.”
Five months after the Armstrong’s were killed, Adams went to the Houston Police Department’s downtown headquarters and gave details about an alleged prostitution ring and death threats made against Armstrong Sr., who allegedly tried to change his life insurance policy because of the threats, DeToto said.
“Antonio Armstong Jr. has suffered demonstrable prejudice or a substantial threat thereof and the Court will be unable to neutralize this taint by any other means,” the defense team wrote in their filings to get the capital murder charges dismissed.
State District Judge Kelli Johnson denied that motion, but is allowing a hearing for the defense to question Adams about her allegations so they can prepare for trial.
Antonio and Dawn Armstrong were fatally shot by someone who put pillows over their faces as they slept in the bedroom of their Bellaire townhouse on July 29, 2016. Their called police around 1:41 a.m. and said he was hiding in an upstairs closet, according to prosecutors.
Armstrong Jr. told police he heard gunshots and saw a man wearing a mask in the home. However, prosecutors said there were no signs of forced entry into the home.
The teen was arrested after police said his story did not make sense, prosecutors said. Additionally, immediately after the killing, Armstrong admitted to a homicide detective that he fired a gun in his room shortly before his parents were murdered.
Bullet holes were found in his comforter and pillow and also in the floor of his room.
If convicted, he faces life in prison with a possibility of parole after 40 years.
(Photo: Harris County Juvenile Detention Center)