HOUSTON – Gathered outside the Houston Police property building, the friends and family of AJ Armstrong Jr. say they’re not giving up, adamant that Armstrong is innocent in the murder of his parents in 2016.
“I want you to know if I had an inkling of a thought that AJ Armstrong, my grandson, killed my son and my beautiful daughter-in-law, we wouldn’t be supporting him,” said Antonio Armstrong Sr.’s mother, Kay Winston.
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A lawsuit has already been filed against the City of Houston alleging planted evidence, centered around a spot of blood found on Armstrong’s shirt that matched his father which was admitted only before the third trial was set to begin.
“And the only difference between the second trial and the third trial was DNA evidence that was miraculously found seven years after this tragedy,” said the family’s civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen.
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They claim more proof has since come up that questions the legitimacy of the evidence.
Kallinen says Robert Collins, a reputable DNA expert, reached out and handed over a previous complaint he made to the Texas Forensic Science Commission in 2019 alleging Celestina Rossi, who analyzed Armstrong’s shirt before the trial, may have planted evidence in the past.
“He says their expert planted evidence in another murder case,” Kallinen said. “Is it true? I don’t know. This is a very respectable person, but at the very least this should have been given over to the defense attorneys.”
He pointed to the Brady rule, which requires the prosecution to provide any evidence to the defense team that could go against the credibility of an expert witness.
Kallinen alleges that didn’t happen in this case, adding, “Did they forget about it? No, they did not forget about it.”
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And Armstrong’s family says they’re not giving up.
“We know he’s innocent,” Winston said. “We know he didn’t do it, and I want you to know we’re seeking justice. We won’t stop until he gets justice.”
There is an opportunity for Armstrong’s defense team to file a motion of a retrial. It hasn’t been filed yet, but they have 30 days after the verdict to do so.
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