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Seventeen-year-old Antonio Armstrong Jr. is being charged as an adult in the deaths of his parents, Dawn and Antonio Armstrong Sr. on July 29, 2016, according to the Daily Mail.

AJ was only 16 years old when he was accused of shooting his parents, who were asleep in their home in Houston, Texas. During court hearings, AJ could be seen weeping when photos and video were shown of the brutal murders.

His father was a former linebacker for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers. He later became a motivational speaker and he and his wife opened a fitness company called 1st Class Training. The family lived in an affluent neighborhood and the couple had one daughter and two sons, including AJ.

AJ maintains his innocence, saying a masked intruder is responsible for his parents’ deaths. In court testimony, one detective said AJ called 911 and told the dispatcher that he was hiding in a closet after he heard gunshots in his parents’ bedroom. AJ also mentioned to the dispatcher that he saw a masked man in the house. However, when police arrived, they found no evidence of forced entry, the report says.

AJ’s lawyers argue that no evidence links their client to the crime, saying gunshot residue was not detected on his clothing and his fingerprints were not recovered on the murder weapon, a .22-caliber pistol.

But prosecutor Martina Longoria countered the defense’s argument saying that AJ admitted to a homicide detective that he discharged a gun in his room before his parents were killed, suggesting he handled the murder weapon, the report says.

AJ’s behavior has also come into question after he was caught by his parents using marijuana weeks before their deaths. They took away his car and cell phone as part of his punishment. AJ was also removed from his private school last spring for poor academic performance and enrolled in a public school according to the prosecution, the report says.

AJ’s attorney, Rick DeToto, said his client was “obviously disappointed” at being charged as an adult. If convicted, AJ could receive life in prison with a possibility of parole only after 40 years.

SEE ALSO:

Son Faces Capital Murder In Deaths Of Parents, Antonio & Dawn Armstrong

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