Within days, detectives had found the murder weapon in a car registered to Armstrong's stepfather. They found a sweatshirt with gun residue in Armstrong's house.
But it wasn't until the next year, when Armstrong's former girlfriend, Tyiska Webster, came forward, that police connected him to Christopher Florence's death. Webster said Armstrong had told her he shot Christopher because he thought he was a rival gang member. He also admitted shooting the other two brothers, she said.
Prosecutors believe Michael and Torry Florence were set up, lured into an ambush by Armstrong.
Defense attorneys argued that the brothers were seeking revenge when they went out looking for Christopher's killer.
"In his view," said Franklin Peters, Armstrong's lawyer, "it was his life or theirs."
Armstrong testified that he acted in self-defense when he shot Torry and Michael. He denied killing Christopher.
Jurors didn't believe him. They convicted Armstrong of killing the three brothers and recommended he receive the death penalty. He is to be sentenced Jan. 5.
"We wanted justice, and we got it," Brenda Florence said recently. But that hasn't made things easier.
Armstrong "didn't only kill my three sons," she said. "He killed Brian and me too."