Teen who killed NFL star and mom to stand trial as adult

The 17-year-old who reportedly killed his mother and retired NFL player father will stand trial as an adult, a Harris County, Texas, judge confirmed on Wednesday.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Antonio Armstrong, Jr., known as AJ, was just 16 when he allegedly killed his father, Antonio Armstrong Sr.,  and his mother, Dawn. Armstrong Sr. was a former linebacker for the Miami Dolphins and the San Francisco 49ers.  On July 19, 2016, both Armstrong Sr. and his wife were sleeping in their Houston home when they were shot to death.

AJ stood before a judge at the Harris County Juvenile Justice Center in Houston, wearing a suit and tie. He cried when the prosecution presented pictures of his parents. He turned his head away when videos of the crime scene were displayed, that showed police officers walking through a bloody crime scene inside the family home. The footage also showed a black gun sitting on the kitchen counter and a handwritten note, staged to make it appear like a stalker fan committed the murders.

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Dawn was pronounced dead at the scene, but Armstrong Sr., barely hanging on, was rushed to a local hospital. He was later pronounced dead. Both were shot in the head. AJ denied any involvement. He blamed the shootings on a masked intruder who broke into the family’s affluent suburban home.

AJ’s lawyer, Rick DeToto, said that being tried as an adult wasn’t surprising to his client, but nonetheless, disappointing.

“We’ve been telling him since the first time we met him that he could be tried as an adult based on the offense and the court.”

The motive appears to be teen rebellion and/or drug addiction. AJ was booted from a private school he attended shortly before the murders. He enrolled in public school and allegedly began dabbling in drugs. In June 2016, his parents reportedly caught him smoking marijuana in his room and took away his cellphone and car. Later, when detectives searched AJ’s room, they found a crack pipe.

AJ was arrested after detectives found his fingerprints on the murder weapon, along with other incriminating evidence. If convicted, he faces 40 years to life in prison.

[Feature Photo: Facebook]