HOUSTON, TX (KTRK) — Jury selection for a murder trial of 22-year-old AJ Armstrong is complete.
A total of 15 people – nine women and six men – were selected to serve on the jury deciding Armstrong’s fate. Armstrong is accused of killing his parents at their West Houston home when he was 16.
Of the 15 people, three of the women are deputies.
Armstrong faces a life sentence if convicted, with the possibility of parole after 40 years.
Jury selection took three days and began with nearly 300 potential judges.
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On Thursday, prosecutors and defense attorneys each had an opportunity to explain what is involved in a murder case without going into evidence or facts.
Prosecutor John Jordan took time to define “circumstantial evidence” and explain why it is heavily considered in a case. Jordan also asked every potential juror in the room, about 150 people, whether or not they needed to hear a possible motive for the verdict.
In Texas, prosecutors are not required to state a motive, as Judge Kelli Johnson affirmed.
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When defense attorney Rick DeToto got his turn, DeToto wrapped Armstrong in a blanket and seemingly demonstrated that he was “shrouded in a cloak of innocence” until the state proved he was guilty.
DeToto spoke of the state having the “burden of proof” and demonstrated the weight of the burden by dropping a 20-pound backpack in front of prosecutors. “If they’re trying to put AJ in prison for the rest of his life, they have to prove it,” DeToto said.
After the jury was selected, DeToto spoke to Eyewitness News and said, “I’m not worried about what they[the state]had to say. It’s what evidence they present.” Prosecutors declined to comment.
Armstrong’s murder trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday.
For updates, follow Courtney Fischer on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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https://abc13.com/aj-armstrong-jury-selection-parents-killed-captial-murder-trial/12301163/ Murder of AJ Armstrong Houston: 9 women, 6 men selected for retrial for murder of son accused of killing parents