PAST CASES – KERRY L. ARMSTRONG
Successful Case Results Obtained by Attorney Armstrong
Please note that every case is different, and the below lists are not meant to guarantee a similar result if you are charged with the same offense.
A few of Mr. Armstrong’s recent case highlights include:
Mistrial declared for former Navy commander accused of rape – 10News.com KGTV-TV San Diego
In March and April 2018, Mr. Armstrong went to trial on a very serious attempted rape, assault with intent to commit rape, residential burglary, and running from the police case. This was the second trial in three months for Mr. Armstrong’s client, who is a Navy Commander. The most serious count carried life in prison. The first jury in late 2017 had hung on all the charges. Before trial, the case was aggressively litigated regarding whether the police had unlawfully ordered the client to give out his pass code to his phone, which contained a video portraying some of the events from the incident. A judge had signed a search warrant allowing the police to do this. After first winning that battle, the judge then reversed himself and allowed the video into evidence. The second trial lasted three weeks. The defense called expert witnesses regarding psychology, DNA, video enhancement, and drone videos. Character witnesses also were called by the defense. Mr. Armstrong gave a closing argument that lasted well over two hours. Following over three days of jury deliberations, and much like the first jury, this jury also could not reach a unanimous conclusion on any of the counts.
In January 2018, Mr. Armstrong tried a domestic violence case in Vista, California. The case was filed as a felony, but the magistrate had reduced the case to a misdemeanor following the preliminary hearing. The client was accused of getting into an argument with his long-time wife and choking her with both hands for forty-five seconds so hard that she nearly passed out.
When the police arrived, they observed two bleeding cuts on her neck. At trial, numerous conflicting statements were heard by the jury by all parties (the client, his wife, and his two children). The police officers admitted that they either had not recorded some witnesses, or that the recordings of other witnesses had been lost by the police department before trial. Therefore, the jury was left to decide who was telling the truth at either the time of the incident or at trial.
The client chose to take the stand and testify, and he stated that he had indeed caused the cuts on his wife’s neck, but he had accidentally inflicted them while using self-defense. The jury deliberated for three hours before finding the client not-guilty of both counts of domestic violence. The client wept and then told the judge that his faith in the justice system was again restored.
In November and December 2017, Mr. Armstrong went to trial on a very serious attempted rape case. His client, a Navy Commander, was charged with assault with intent to commit rape during a home burglary, attempted rape, home burglary with intent to commit rape, and obstructing law-enforcement officers. The most serious count carried life in prison. Several media outlets reported extensively on the trial.
Before trial, the case was aggressively litigated regarding whether the police had unlawfully ordered the client to give out his pass code to his phone, which contained a video portraying some of the events from the incident. A judge had signed a search warrant allowing the police to do this. After first winning that battle, the judge then reversed himself and allowed the video into evidence. The trial itself lasted two weeks. The defense called an expert witness regarding alcohol and memory, and the client testified in his own defense. Mr. Armstrong gave a closing argument that lasted well over two hours. Following three days of jury deliberations, the jury could not reach a unanimous conclusion on any of the counts. Therefore, the case will be retired in 2018.
In January 2017, Mr. Armstrong tried a gross vehicular manslaughter trial in which his client killed a nine-year-old girl on New Year’s Eve 2009. Additionally, four other people in three different cars were hurt in the crash. Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of “huffing” which is inhaling a chemical that comes from computer dust-off aerosol cans, and he crashed into the back of the victim’s car and caused a chain-reaction crash with several other vehicles. The client was originally represented in the case by a different attorney. The client pled guilty in 2010 and agreed to a plea-bargain of sixteen years in prison at 85%. However, the case was overturned in 2016 based on a change in the law, and the case was remanded back to the trial court.
Mr. Armstrong then took over as the client’s attorney. After numerous negotiations, the client offered the District Attorney’s Office twelve years in prison at 85%; however, that office adamantly refused. In fact, there was no offer except the original sixteen years. Therefore, the client was forced to go to trial. At trial, Mr. Armstrong mostly focused on whether the four living victims had sustained “great bodily injury.” (The evidence that the client caused the accident due to his “huffing” was substantial.) Mr. Armstrong argued that while all four people had been injured, their injuries were not “great.” All four testified that not only did they go to the hospital or a doctor back in 2009, but they all also testified that their injuries still linger today (over seven years later). Following a day of deliberations, the jury convicted Mr. Armstrong’s client of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony DUI. However, the jury found that all four great bodily injury allegations were not true. This verdict substantially reduced the client’s prison time, and it also reduced the time he had to spend from 85% to 50%. As such, the client was released from prison at his sentencing hearing.
In January-February 2017, Mr. Armstrong tried a juvenile delinquency case where his client was charged with three counts of child molestation on a five-year-old girl. Because juveniles are not granted a jury trial unless they are tried as an adult (which this client was not), Mr. Armstrong was forced to try the case in front of a judge. Mr. Armstrong reports that because juveniles have no right to a juvenile trial, it is much harder to win a trial in juvenile court in front of a judge.
The trial ended up taking four days, and the alleged victim (now age six) was extremely bright and mature for her age. She pointed out Mr. Armstrong’s client and stated that he was the one who molested her on several occasions. However, Mr. Armstrong presented evidence that when the girl first made her allegation, she stated that it was either Mr. Armstrong’s client or his brother who had molested her. However, she then quickly verified to a witness that it was Mr. Armstrong’s client who was the perpetrator. Following lengthy arguments at the end of the trial, the judge voted not-guilty on all three counts. Mr. Armstrong’s client was thereby saved from a potential sentence of twelve years in juvenile prison.
In October 2016, both Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Molea jointly conducted a DUI trial. The client was accused of drinking all day on his boat along with his friend. While the client and his friend were trailering the boat on a dark boat ramp, two San Diego Lifeguards pulled up on their own boat and warned the two not to drive the boat and trailer up the ramp because they felt that both were too intoxicated. When the boat and trailer were driven up the ramp anyway, the lifeguards called 911 and San Diego Police Department officers soon arrived. Both lifeguards picked out Mr. Armstrong’s client out as the driver of the SUV, and he was arrested for DUI. The defense was that the client’s friend was the actual driver. The friend refused to testify, however. The client testified and stated that he was not the driver. After one day of deliberations, the jury hung 11-1.
In November 2015, Mr. Armstrong conducted his first courts-martial in military court (United States Navy). His client had been charged in state court in 2013 of molesting his niece by touching her breast and by making her commit a lewd act on him. That state court trial resulted in a hung jury (9-3 for not-guilty). The District Attorney’s Office then dismissed the case before the second trial began. However, the U.S. Navy then decided to file charges against the client, including two charges of child molestation and one count of fleeing apprehension. The Navy case was filed in late 2014. Mr. Armstrong was helped in the military trial by a Navy JAG as well as another privately-retained attorney. Mr. Armstrong vigorously cross-examined the client’s niece, and it greatly helped that he had the trial transcripts from the state trial in which to impeach her. He was also allowed to bring in a loveseat to the courtroom, which was used to show the jurors that the niece’s story did not make sense. However, the niece and her mother both cried during their testimony, which is always hard to combat. The client did not testify. After a week of trial in front of a jury of nine officers and enlisted men, the jury voted not-guilty on the two child molest counts. They convicted the client only of fleeing apprehension, and he received a very lenient sentence the following day from the jury.
From September to November 2015, both Mr. Armstrong and his associate Dan Greene conducted a six-week jury trial in Vista. Their client was charged with twenty counts of forcible sodomy, forcible oral copulation, child molestation, and sodomy of an unconscious person. There were three alleged victims. Additionally, another four men were allowed to testify that the client had also abused them years prior. This testimony was allowed pursuant to propensity laws under the California Evidence Code. The client was facing a potential sentence of 300-years-to-life. The client was a teacher at three different schools spread across the United States, and the abuse allegedly occurred from 1985 to 2001. Most of the seven men did not know each other, therefore making a defense extremely difficult. The discovery in the case was massive, making up over 18,000 pages and over 100 CD-roms and DVDs. Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Greene flew in witnesses from across the United States, as did the District Attorney’s Office. The client did not testify, but the defense called a variety of witnesses. After deliberating for four days, the jury announced not-guilty verdicts on four counts. They were deadlocked on the remaining sixteen counts. The District Attorney’s Office has announced that they will re-try the client, but because of the four not-guilty verdicts on two of the men, a life sentence is no longer an option for the prosecution.
From August to September 2015, Mr. Armstrong conducted a four-week jury trial in El Cajon. His client was charged with twelve counts of child molestation on eight different girls. A “life allegation” was attached to the complaint was well, making the possible exposure 180-years-to-life. The client had been an elementary school teacher at a small public school, and all eight girls alleged that they had been touched by the client over a period of nearly three years. Most of them alleged vaginal touching. A ninth girl alleged the same type of conduct, and while the charge regarding her was dismissed at the client’s preliminary hearing, the jury was still allowed to hear from her based on propensity rules pursuant to California law. Several of the girls did not know each other even though they had all attended the same school. Mr. Armstrong had represented the client on these charges since 2003 when they first surfaced; however, the client was not arrested until 2014. Mr. Armstrong ended up calling thirty-one defense witnesses in the trial, a record for him. After deliberating for eight days (another record for him), the jury announced that they had voted not-guilty on one girl and they were deadlocked on the charges regarding the remaining seven girls. (The vote was leaning heavily toward not-guilty.) After considering the state of the evidence, as well as the jurors’ comments following the trial, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed all eleven remaining counts several weeks later. The client was therefore spared a life sentence. He was in custody for over thirteen months before the trial and had lost a significant amount of weight due to severe stress.
In April and May 2014, Mr. Armstrong conducted a three-week trial where his client was accused of molesting five different alleged victims. Four of the children were first cousins to each other, and the fifth was a second cousin to them. At the time of the alleged touchings, they ranged in age from six to thirteen. Mr. Armstrong’s client was facing 270-years-to-life if convicted of all eighteen charges filed against him. The five alleged victims testified that they were touched, fondled, and masturbated by the defendant. One of the female complaining witnesses testified that she was raped both vaginally and anally by him over a long period of time. The District Attorney’s Office had two experts testify against Mr. Armstrong’s client, one of which was a medical doctor and one of which was a social worker expert on “delayed disclosure” and related issues. Mr. Armstrong called several family members to the stand, and his client also took the stand and testified for several hours. After three days of deliberations, the jury returned a not-guilty verdict regarding one alleged victim. The jury hung on the counts regarding the other four alleged victims (with the hung counts ranging from 8-4 for not-guilty to an even 6-6 split to 7-5 for guilty).
In January 2014, Mr. Armstrong represented a man at trial who was accused of molesting two of his young relatives. The jury trial took place in El Cajon and lasted over two weeks. The jury selection alone took nearly five days, but Mr. Armstrong felt very good about the jury when it was finally picked. Both young relatives took the witness stand during the trial and were very emotional. They testified that Mr. Armstrong’s client had molested them several times over a period of approximately three years each. The prosecution called an expert who opined that young victims of child molest often delay reporting, especially when the perpetrator is a relative. Mr. Armstrong’s client took the stand and testified for several hours. He stated that he never molested his relatives. Other defense witnesses testified that Mr. Armstrong’s client always behaved properly around children, and that the relatives in question always seemed like they enjoyed being around their relative. The jury deliberated for seven hours before they acquitted Mr. Armstrong’s client of all eight charges, saving him a potential prison sentence of 120-years-to-life. Following the verdicts, several jurors actually cried and hugged the client and Mr. Armstrong in the hallway and stated that they believed the client was 100% innocent.
In April 2013, Mr. Armstrong won three out of four counts in a domestic violence trial he conducted in San Diego. His client, a young businessman, was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend twice in fifty days. In the first incident in January 2013, the man was accused of slamming his girlfriend’s head against her car window, as well as kicking the side mirror off of her car. In the second incident on Saint Patrick’s Day 2013, the client was accused of choking his girlfriend so severely that she told police she saw stars and thought she was going to die. In fact, the client was originally arrested on an attempted murder charge relating to that incident. Both Mr. Armstrong’s client and the client’s girlfriend were drinking a lot of alcohol in both incidents. Following a three-day trial, Mr. Armstrong’s client was acquitted of all three domestic violence charges against him. The client was convicted only of misdemeanor vandalism (for kicking the car mirror off). The client testified at the trial and claimed self-defense in both incidents. Some of the jurors were so incensed at the complaining witness that after they rendered their verdicts, they asked Mr. Armstrong if the judge could order that the complaining witness undergo counseling. Mr. Armstrong’s client received no custody for the vandalism conviction and was able to immediately get back to his employment.
In January 2013, Mr. Armstrong tried a sexual battery case in San Diego. The client, a young male, had originally been arrested for rape and digital penetration, but the District Attorney’s Office handed the case down to the City Attorney’s Office, which charged the client with sexual battery. At trial, the complaining witness took the stand and testified that Mr. Armstrong’s client had snuck into her unlocked apartment while she was drunk and sleeping. She alleged that she woke up to find the client on top of her, and that he then digitally penetrated her with his fingers and had both oral and vaginal sex with her, all against her will. She testified that she screamed and he ran out of her apartment. The client was located an hour later at his parents’ house less than two miles away. DNA tests revealed that the client indeed had sexual contact with the woman. At trial, Mr. Armstrong cross-examined the complaining witness for several hours, revealing her prior inconsistent statements to law-enforcement and prosecutors. The client had a brain injury as a child and decided not to take the stand as a result of his learning disabilities. This put Mr. Armstrong in a very difficult situation, as it is nearly impossible to win a sex case without the client taking the stand and telling his side of the story. After a five-day trial and three days of jury deliberations, the jury hung 6-6. Half of them stated that they believed the complaining witness and half of them stated that they did not. Two days later, Mr. Armstrong worked out a favorable plea-bargain for the client. He pled guilty to simple battery and received no jail, no public work service, no fine, no formal probation, and no sex offender registration. This was essentially the same plea-bargain that Mr. Armstrong had offered the prosecution before the trial; however, the offer was flatly rejected at that time.
In December 2012, Mr. Armstrong tried his fourth consecutive trial in twelve weeks. Tired after being in trial for that period of time, Mr. Armstrong faced one of his more daunting tasks–attempting to acquit a man accused of molesting seven little boys. The client had been a substitute teacher in San Diego County in 2010. Seven first-and-second-graders from two different school districts claimed that the client had touched them inappropriately in their classrooms. The alleged touchings consisted of hair sniffing, back and thigh massages, kisses on their necks, and hand-holding. Mr. Armstrong had the client testify. Mr. Armstrong also called a licensed psychologist who had done a lot of professional testing on the client and had concluded that the client did not have the characteristics of a child molester. The jury deliberated for three days, and on Christmas Eve came back with the best Christmas present that anyone could ever hope for: acquittals on six of the seven counts. They were hung on the seventh count, but the vote was 10-2 for not-guilty. The District Attorney’s Office then promptly dismissed that last count. The client, now a member of the U.S. Army, was able to fly home to see his mother on Christmas Eve and escape a possible twenty-year prison sentence.
In November/December 2012, Mr. Armstrong achieved probably the greatest victory in his career. His client was facing 38 counts of forcible child rape, forcible oral copulation on a child, and forcible child molest. The client was facing 348-years-to-life on these 38 counts. The case seemed almost impossible to win, as the judge allowed into evidence the fact that the client had solicited prostitutes in the past, had confessed to the detective that he had a “sex addiction,” that he cheated on his wife for many years, and that he had filed a “fake” divorce petition under penalty of perjury. The prosecution was also able to introduce evidence that hundreds of horrible incest anime photos were found on two computers used by the client. However, Mr. Armstrong put his client on the stand and the client explained that he had been a horrible husband and father, but that he had never raped his daughter as she claimed. Mr. Armstrong cross-examined the daughter for nearly four hours over two days, methodically picking apart her story. After deliberating for several days, the jury returned not-guilty verdicts on 37 counts. (The 38th count had been dismissed by the prosecutor during the trial.) The client was able to escape a lifetime prison sentence and get back to running his business in San Diego.
In November 2012, Mr. Armstrong conducted a two-week trial where his client was charged with premeditated attempted murder and assault with a knife. Because of the premeditation allegation, the client was facing life in prison if convicted. The client, a SDSU graduate with no prior record, was accused of walking up to a homeless lady in Mission Valley and stabbing her six times in the head, back, and chest for absolutely no reason. The lady identified the client both at the preliminary hearing and at trial as being the man who stabbed her. She pointed at him at trial and said emphatically, “I will never forget your face.” Video surveillance at a nearby convenience store showed that the client was definitely in the area around the time of the stabbing. Other circumstantial evidence was found at his apartment, including a huge knife collection, “dark” poetry about knives, and numerous internet searches about “serial killers,” “how to hold a knife during a fight,” and “Dexter.” Also, the same brand of cigarettes that the lady had identified as being related to the stabber were found in the client’s truck. However, after deliberating over three days, the jury returned verdicts of not-guilty on both counts. One juror even told Mr. Armstrong after the trial that most jurors felt that the case should have never even been filed by the District Attorney’s Office.
In August 2012, Mr. Armstrong tried a case where his client was charged with four counts of oral copulation by intoxication and unconsciousness. There were two complaining witnesses. Mr. Armstrong’s client was a former U.S. Navy corpsman who was gay. The two complaining witnesses were young Marines who claimed to be straight. Both of them came over to the client’s apartment and drank heavily with the client. Both Marines claimed that they passed out from drinking too much and then were awakened at different parts of the night by Mr. Armstrong’s client orally copulating them. Both Marines further claimed that they were either so drunk (or drugged) that they could not resist. Mr. Armstrong put his client on the stand at the trial, and he also called a psychologist to testify about “alcohol blackouts.” After three days of deliberations, the jury acquitted the client on both charges involving one Marine. They hung on both counts for the second Marine (but the votes leaned heavily toward not-guilty). The client is going to be re-tried in 2013.
In April 2012, Mr. Armstrong went to trial on a case where his client was accused of road rage resulting in injury. The client had been driving a large work truck and was accused of intentionally ramming into a motorcyclist after the motorcyclist pulled out in front of him at Traffic Court. The motorcyclist claimed that his knee, back, and arm had been injured in the wreck. Before trial, the prosecutor bragged to Mr. Armstrong that he would win the trial, and that Mr. Armstrong’s client better take the plea-bargain. The client refused and went to trial, testifying on his own behalf. After a week-long trial and four hours of deliberations, the jury acquitted Mr. Armstrong’s client of all charges (assault with a vehicle, battery, and reckless driving). The verdict was especially satisfying to the client because it allowed him to keep his job, and because his second child had been born just before the trial began.
In March 2012, Mr. Armstrong and another San Diego defense attorney teamed together to represent a man accused of raping and sexually battering a woman at Mission Bay. Both video surveillance and DNA linked their client to the alleged crimes. Their client was arrested and could not bail out of jail because his bail was so high. Not long before the preliminary hearing, the attorneys received outside information that the complaining witness had lied about whether the encounter was consensual or not. Mr. Armstrong and the other attorney decided to hold a press conference that was soon picked up by the national news media. The story even spread to other countries around the world. Once the press conference gained a lot of media attention, other witnesses came forward who were helpful to the defense. Less than two weeks later, the District Attorney’s Office decided to drop all charges against the client. This occurred even before the preliminary hearing, which is extremely unusual. In another stunning move, the judge allowed the client to walk out of the courthouse a free man (without having to be returned to the jail to process out of custody). Mr. Armstrong, the client, and the other defense attorney then walked the client across the street to a waiting press conference. The client was still wearing his jail flip-flops as he spoke to the media members. At that press conference, the client thanked the media for covering his case so closely, which led to so many important defense witnesses to come forward and eventually exonerate him.
In September 2011, Mr. Armstrong conducted a preliminary hearing on a child molest case that had been filed against his client. After cross-examining the complaining witness (a thirteen-year-old girl), as well as cross-examining a detective who admitted that she had left crucial, exonerating information out of her police report, the judge dismissed all charges against Mr. Armstrong’s client. The client was then allowed to return to his family and children. The District Attorney’s Office did not re-file the charges against the client after the dismissal at the preliminary hearing.
In March 2011, Mr. Armstrong started a sexual battery, domestic violence, and false imprisonment trial in San Diego. His client was accused of forcibly digitally penetrating a female during a domestic violence fight, resulting in fairly severe injuries to her vagina. The female also told police that he hit her so hard in the face that she had blacked out. Several witnesses were lined up to testify against the client, including two medical doctors, a nurse, and two independent witnesses who had heard the female screaming. Halfway through jury selection, a plea-agreement was reached whereby the District Attorney’s Office agreed to offer Mr. Armstrong’s client no jail, no public work service, and no sex offender registration (Penal Code section 290). This occurred even though the female was ready to testify for the prosecution and against Mr. Armstrong’s client. Additionally, the client was on felony probation at the time, but the agreement included no custody for the probation violation.
In February 2011, Mr. Armstrong tried a very serious case where his client was a juvenile charged as an adult. The client was arrested when he was sixteen years old and charged with armed robbery and assault with a firearm. He had allegedly put a revolver in a stranger’s face and demanded his money. The client was facing sixteen years in state prison. After a week-long trial where identification was the main issue, the jury voted not-guilty on all counts. Several jury members hugged Mr. Armstrong and his client’s mother and aunt following the verdicts. The client was then released from custody and able to return home to his mother and sister.
In August 2010, Mr. Armstrong was able to reach an extremely favorable plea-bargain in a military case. In a very unusual case charged at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, CA, Mr. Armstrong’s client was a U.S. Marine charged with poisoning his girlfriend two different times and causing the death of two fetuses that she was carrying. The client faced two life sentences in a military prison. After conducting a very successful Article 32 hearing that took two days, the case was reduced to attempted purchase of a drug, and the client received only thirty days in the brig (as well as an “other than honorable” discharge).
In August 2010, Mr. Armstrong’s client was facing fifty-years-to-life for allegedly having intercourse with a child under the age of ten. After conducting the preliminary hearing and after negotiations with the District Attorney’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office dropped the charges against the defendant that carried life in prison. The client was then able to reach a favorable plea-agreement that resulted in a huge reduction in time than he originally was facing.
In March 2009, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of beating his girlfriend so severely that deep bruises covered over 85% of her body. Her nose was broken as well. (The police arrested the client on torture charges.) Following a jury trial, the client, a local college professor, was acquitted of all charges. He went back to teaching, where he is still employed today.
In January 2009, a client of Mr. Armstrong’s went to trial on charges that he molested three different neighbor children. The jury hung on most of the counts, returning not-guilty verdicts on only two counts. The client then reached a plea-bargain on the hung counts and was spared from receiving a life sentence.
In November 2008, Mr. Armstrong’s client pled guilty to possessing numerous child pornography images and videos (a felony). At the sentencing hearing, Mr. Armstrong was able to convince the judge to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and not impose any custody. This is believed to be the first time a San Diego County judge has done this since the law changed in 2006 making the crime a felony.
In the fall of 2008, Mr. Armstrong successfully defended two police officers in separate domestic violence cases. In the first case, an Oceanside Police Department lieutenant was accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend by dragging her and hitting her. In the other, a female San Diego Police Department officer was accused of putting her semiautomatic handgun into the mouth of her husband during a domestic argument. Although the officers were arrested in both cases, no charges were formally filed by the District Attorney’s Office in either incident after Mr. Armstrong became involved in the cases.
In November 2007, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of shooting a drunk man in the back three times. Although the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office filed first-degree murder charges against the client, Mr. Armstrong was able to get all charges dropped before the preliminary hearing. (This dismissal was one of only a handful of such pre-preliminary hearing murder case dismissals in San Diego County history).
In September 2007, Mr. Armstrong’s client went to trial on several charges of child molestation. The client was accused of molesting his niece when she was a young girl. After hearing all of the evidence, the jury hung 8-4 in favor of acquittal. Just before the retrial, Mr. Armstrong worked out a plea-bargain where his client pled guilty to a misdemeanor with no time in custody. Additionally, the client was not required to register as a sex offender.
In July 2007, Mr. Armstrong won 32 of 34 counts of a high-profile child molest trial in which three young students accused his client of touching them inappropriately, kissing them, and showing them pornographic movies. The verdicts were all not-guilty regarding two of the alleged victims. The client was therefore saved from a life sentence in prison.
In June 2006, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of gang rape, kidnapping, forcible oral copulation, sodomy, burglary, robbery, and sexual battery (23 counts in all). Following a four-week trial, the client was acquitted of all charges and released from custody (where he had been held for over eight months awaiting trial). Following the verdict, jury members cried and hugged the client in the hallway.
In May 2006, a client of Mr. Armstrong’s was acquitted of all counts involving allegations that the client raped a federal prison inmate in a correctional facility. Those not-guilty verdicts followed what Mr. Armstrong considers to be the best closing argument by a deputy district attorney that he has ever witnessed.
In 2006, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of torturing his wife in an all-day beating. The deputy district attorney assigned to the case described the case as the worst beating she had ever seen where the victim lived. Following a jury trial, the client was convicted of domestic violence but acquitted of torture, therefore saving him from life in prison.
In September 2005, Mr. Armstrong received all not-guilty verdicts for a client who was accused of shooting a man to death in the back with a shotgun during a robbery. The case began as a capital case, and the client was facing life in prison without the possibility of parole had he been convicted. The client still lives in San Diego and remains in contact with Mr. Armstrong from time to time.
A few of Mr. Armstrong’s past case highlights include:
- In 2004, a client of Mr. Armstrong’s was accused of raping his ex-girlfriend while placing a knife against her throat. The client was acquitted of many of the charges, including the knife allegations (thereby saving the client from a life sentence).
- In 2003, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of raping an intoxicated female at her apartment. The client was acquitted of all charges even though a neighbor testified that he saw the female vomiting and nearly comatose as she was being carried up the stairs over the client’s shoulder.
- In 2002, Mr. Armstrong went to trial on a case in El Cajon where his client (who was labeled by the prosecution as a white supremacist) was accused of attempting to kill a migrant farm worker by kicking him, punching him, and curbing him (placing the victim’s mouth on a curb and then stomping on the back of his head). The client was acquitted of most of the charges, including acquittals on premeditated attempted murder, torture, robbery, and the hate-crime allegation.
- In 2002, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of forcibly raping his wife. (The couple had just separated.) Just before trial, Mr. Armstrong was able to subpoena surveillance video from a movie store where the client and his wife were seen walking hand-in-hand from the store on the night in question. After handing the video over to the District Attorney’s Office, the case was dismissed three days later on what would have been the first day of trial.
- In 2001, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of beating a man with The Club (a car steering wheel locking device) following an argument over the victim’s poor driving skills. The case was reduced to a misdemeanor, and the client received no time in custody.
- In 2000, Mr. Armstrong’s client was charged with possessing 2,000 pounds of marijuana in a van (in what is believed to be the largest marijuana seizure that year that did not take place at the international border). Mr. Armstrong was able to convince the judge to sentence the client to local custody instead of prison.
- In 2000, Mr. Armstrong’s client was facing 25-years-to-life on a Three Strike’s case. Mr. Armstrong was able to convince the judge to reduce the new felony case to a misdemeanor, thereby saving the client from a life sentence.
- In another domestic violence trial in 2000, Mr. Armstrong’s client was accused of slapping and pushing his wife, as well as secretly recording her phone conversations. The jury voted not-guilty on both charges after the wife was caught by Mr. Armstrong lying on the stand about her secret boyfriend.
- In his first domestic violence trial (in 1999), Mr. Armstrong received not-guilty verdicts for a female client who was accused of punching her ex-husband and slapping his new girlfriend so hard that one earring was torn out of the new girlfriend’s ear. Even though the client’s own children testified that their mother had committed the assaults, the jury voted not-guilty on all charges.