Son of Murdered NFL Player Convicted in Slaying, Wife Flees Courtroom in Tears

The Associated Press (19)
The Associated Press

The wife of AJ Armstrong Jr. fled the courtroom in tears proclaiming his innocence after a trial found he had murdered his NFL player father and his mother in 2016.

Armstrong Jr was convicted on Wednesday after a 10-hour jury deliberation over the deaths of his parents, Antonio and Dawn Armstrong, who were shot to death in their home in Houston, Texas, in July of 2016. Antonio Sr. had a short NFL career playing for only a year before joining the Canadian Football League, for which he played three seasons.

Antonio Armstrong Jr's lawyer places a hand on his client's back in court.

AJ Armstrong Jr. listens as his verdict is read in a Houston courtroom. (The Associated Press)

The first murder case against the teen ended in a mistrial in April 2019 when jurors could not agree on a verdict. AJ was tried again early in 2020 and has now been convicted of the murders of his parents.

Upon reading the verdict, Armstrong Jr’s wife fled the courtroom in tears and maintained that he is innocent of the crime. The now-convicted murderer’s attorney has also vowed to file an appeal, the Daily Mail reported.

“His family is amazing, and obviously they are devastated right now but they will rally and they will help AJ and his wife and his young son,” defense attorney Rick Detoto told the media after the proceedings.

“Over the last seven years we’ve seen him grow up from a 16-year-old to a young father and husband,” Detoto added. “He is devastated, but he’s one of the strongest young men I’ve ever known.”

Since the murders of his parents, Armstrong married his high school girlfriend, Kate Ober, and the couple had a child.

But prosecutors said he was far from a nice, family man. During his trials, prosecutors presented evidence that Armstrong had researched how to silence gunfire, and the pillows and blankets filled with bullet holes he used in experiments were found in his room. Drug paraphernalia was also found in his room after the murders, police said.

AJ’s attorney, though, has filed a lawsuit against the Houston Police Department, charging that officers planted the evidence in his room.

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