Teen Accused Of Sleep-Killing Mom And NFL-Star Dad Speaks Out About 2016 Deaths

For the first time, the son of a former NFL great is speaking out about being suspected of murdering his parents in 2016.

A new two-hour 20/20 episode — which airs tonight on ABC — features exclusive interviews with Antonio “AJ” Armstrong, Jr., now 23. Armstrong is facing his third capital murder trial in the horrific deaths of his parents, former NFL linebacker Antonio Armstrong, Sr., and Dawn Armstrong, both 42, after his first two trials resulted in hung juries. Armstrong has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

In tonight’s episode, Armstrong tells reporter Matt Gutman that he was in “complete shock” after being accused in the heinous crimes when he was only 16 years old. “There’s no way possible. I couldn’t even fathom the idea of killing my parents,” Armstrong says. He also discusses what he claims really happened inside the house that night.

On July 29, 2016, the couple were found shot to death in bed as they slept inside their Houston home.

Police quickly honed in on Armstrong as a primary suspect, and prosecutors argued that AJ’s parents had been reprimanding him often for poor grades, lying, and lax behavior in the months leading up to the killings.

On the night of their deaths, Armstrong reportedly called police around 1:40 a.m. saying he’d heard gunshots and saw a masked man inside the home, the Houston Chronicle reported at the time.

When police arrived, they found no signs of forced entry but did see a .22-caliber pistol, as well as a strange note, on the kitchen counter, the outlet reported. The contents of the note has not been released by authorities.

Armstrong was charged with capital murder in connection with the killings. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges and “adamantly [denies] that he has committed these murders,” as his defense attorney, Rick Detoto, previously told PEOPLE.

His next retrial is slated for February 2023.