HOUSTON — The 16-year-old boy charged in the shooting death of his parents appeared in probable cause court Monday morning for the first time.
Dawn and Antonio Armstrong were killed early Friday at their home in southwest Houston. The shooting happened around 2:15 a.m. on Palmetto at Mapleridge.
The 16-year-old, who’s identity has not been released because he is a juvenile, pleaded not guilty in court.
Dawn Armstrong died at the scene, and Antonio Armstrong suffered a gunshot wound to the head. He was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The couple has three children including a 16-year-old boy, an adult son and a 12-year-old daughter. The teenage son called 911 while hiding inside an upstairs closet, investigators said.
According to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the 16-year-old told investigators he saw a masked man inside the house the night of the shooting. However, the prosecution said the teen’s statement conflicts with police reports there were no signs of forced entry into the residence. Prosecutors said the presence of a masked man inside the home also conflicted with another statement the teen made.
Investigators said a note was also found inside the house, but prosecutors would not disclose what it said.
“This is a good, all-American family. This a good kid. It just doesn’t make any sense,” defense lawyer Rick Detoto said after court.
The teen’s defense lawyer is still holding onto the masked man claim, prosecutors told Newsfix.
The motive for the shooting remains unknown, but people who knew the Armstrongs called them the “All-American family.”
Antonio Armstrong is a former Texas A & M football player who went on to play professionally for the San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins.
According to Facebook profile information, the couple owned First Class Training- Bellaire, a fitness facility providing personal and athletic training, corporate wellness, pilates and group classes. Antonio Armstrong was also a motivational speaker, who spoke encouraging words on his “Strong Talk” YouTube page.
The couple was featured in an article on Love. Work. Repeat., an online magazine created to promote healthy marriages and families. In their article, they detailed how they met, which was at church, and what kept them together. They said their keys to making their marriage work were spending time together, not focusing on the small things in life and having date nights every Wednesday.
“Stick to your commitment, work out all differences and don’t waste time majoring on the minor things,” Antonio told L.W.R.
The magazine posted condolences for the family on its social media page.