Report: Argument over leaving windows open with AC running led to deadly stabbing in Tehachapi

Crime Watch

Joey Armstrong covers his face with a piece of paper as a public defender stands by him in court. File image.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — An argument over leaving the windows open while the air conditioning was running ended with a Tehachapi man fatally stabbing his sister at the house where they both lived, according to a court document.

Joey Armstrong, 36, became upset with his sister, Gina Armstrong, 37, because he paid a portion of the utility bills and she was running up expenses by leaving windows open, according to the court filing released Monday.

The filing provides further detail to events described in a probable cause declaration obtained last week by KGET.

The incident occurred Sept. 9 in a house in the 1400 block of Green Street where Joey Armstrong’s wife and children and the father of Joey and Gina Armstrong also lived.

During the argument about the windows, Gina Armstrong told her brother that their dead mother would be ashamed of him, the filing says.

Joey Armstrong then walked to his bedroom and removed a knife from the dresser drawer, a witness told police in the filing. The witness said Joey Armstrong left the room and shortly afterward Gina Armstrong was heard screaming.

Family members found Gina Armstrong lying on the garage floor, bleeding and semiconscious, according to court documents. Joey Armstrong stood a few feet from her, still holding the knife. He had blood on his shirt.

Gina Armstrong was flown to Kern Medical, where she was pronounced dead. Police said in the filing she appeared to have eight to nine stab wounds from her thigh to the center of her chest.

Arrested and held without bail, Joe Armstrong is charged with first-degree murder and has a court hearing set for Wednesday.

In arresting him, officers told Joey Armstrong to get on the ground and not do anything stupid, the filing says.

“Why would I?” Joey Armstrong responded according to the filing. “I already did something bad.”

Joey Armstrong had changed into a clean shirt by the time police arrived. Officers found the bloody shirt hidden behind a laundry basket, and located the knife in the front yard, documents said. The knife is described as having a blade about 7 inches long.

Joey Armstrong told police in the probable cause declaration he was so drunk he blacked out and didn’t remember anything.

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