HOUSTON — It's been two years since Antonio and Dawn Armstrong's son was charged with capital murder for allegedly shooting them to death in the family's Bellaire home. Now attorneys for Antonio Armstrong, Jr. want the case dismissed because they believe they have been denied the right to investigate case evidence in a timely manner.
"We lost an opportunity to cross examine witnesses at a hearing. There's nothing more fundamental in American justice than that," attorney Rick DeToto said.
The witness defense attorney is referring to is a woman named Maxine Adams who allegedly told police Antonio Armstrong. Sr. was involved in a prostitution ring.
"She told the Houston Police Department in December of 2016 that there were death threats made against Antonio Armstrong, Sr. She said she had knowledge of him changing his life insurance policy based on these death threats."
After 18 months, the district attorney's office gave the defense team an audio recording of Adams' testimony.
"We're just flabbergasted at what the content inside this audio file had," defense attorney Chris Collingsworth said.
Whether or not the evidence is true is something the defense wants to investigate themselves. They have requested a hearing to do just that.
"Eighteen months later," DeToto said. "Memories fade, phone records disappear. People change their story. We have to now go back and develop this information about what exactly happened here."
The younger Armstrong was 16 when his parents were killed. Right now he's set to go on trial in mid-September.
In response to the defense team's pre-trial motion for a hearing, the Harris County District Attorney's Office issued the following statement:
"We welcome the opportunity to present all the facts regarding this matter to a judge — be that in writing or at a hearing — as determined by the court."