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Antonio ‘AJ’ Armstrong has been sentenced to life in prison after a Texas grand jury found him guilty of murdering both of his parents in 2016. Armstrong is the son of former NFL linebacker Antonio Armstrong Sr.
The now 23-year-old’s sentencing includes the possibility of parole after 40 years. Jurors heard from witnesses over the course of 11 days before taking roughly 10-and-a-half hours to come to a guilty verdict.
Armstrong was just 16-years-old when he shot both of his parents while they were sleeping on July 29, 2016. Dawn, Armstrong’s mother, was shot twice in the head and died on the scene while Armstrong Sr. later died at a hospital after being shot. Armstrong placed a pillow over his parents’ faces before calling 911 and reporting gunshots.
Armstrong’s parents had reportedly scolded him for being kicked out of high school and smoking marijuana at the time.
Armstrong originally told investigators he saw a man in a mask flee their home, but prosecutors said he didn’t mention this until hours into an interrogation. The home’s security system showed no records of a man entering the home the night the murders took place.
According to the New York Post, the killer left an ominous note in the kitchen that read “I have been watching you for a long time. Come get me.” The murder weapon, a .22- caliber pistol that belonged to Antonio Sr. was also found in the kitchen.
Prosecutors explained that Armstrong had shot the same gun into a pillow and blanket, through the floor of his bedroom, about a week before the murders. He also lit a fire outside his parents’ bedroom two days before the shootings.
Armstrong, who had been out on bond since 2017, did not show any emotion while the verdict was read inside the courtroom, but his wife was seen crying.