HOUSTON, TX, August 16, 2023 – A Houston jury has found 23-year-old Antonio Armstrong Jr. guilty of capital murder for the 2016 shooting deaths of his parents, according to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg. Armstrong was automatically sentenced to life in prison following the verdict.
Armstrong was just 16 when he killed his parents, Antonio Sr. and Dawn, as they slept in their Bellaire-area home on July 29, 2016. Both were shot in the head. The teenager had been recently expelled from school and was reportedly angry with his parents for disciplining him.
Antonio Armstrong Sr. had a notable football career, having been a standout player at Houston’s Kashmere High School. He later played for Texas A&M University and had professional stints in the NFL and the Canadian Football League.
The verdict followed more than two weeks of trial and 10 hours of deliberation. It marked the third time Armstrong was tried in the high-profile case, with the previous two trials resulting in hung juries. Armstrong will be eligible for parole after serving 40 years.
During the trial, concerns about excessive publicity led state District Judge Kelli Johnson to file a motion for a change of venue. Ultimately, she chose to enforce a gag order on the litigants and selected jurors through an extensive individual voir dire process.
At a post-verdict news conference, District Attorney Ogg expressed gratitude to the prosecutors, the Houston Police Department, and the jury. “The community, through those jurors, spoke today, and they found justice for the victims,” she said.
Assistant District Attorneys John Jordan and Ryan Trask, who prosecuted Armstrong in his second and third trials, emphasized the importance of the case. Jordan highlighted the severity of the crime, stating that Armstrong’s youth made him “all that more dangerous.” Trask noted the jury’s confidence in their decision, saying they carefully considered all the evidence before unanimously finding him guilty.
Jordan supervises the DA’s Juvenile Division, while Trask is assigned to the DA’s Homicide Division.