Tehachapi man accused of fatally stabbing sister claims he ‘blacked out’ from alcohol, report says

Crime Watch

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

TEHACHAPI, Calif. (KGET) — A Tehachapi man charged with murder in the stabbing death of his sister claimed he was so drunk he blacked out and doesn’t remember what happened, according to a police report.

But family members of Joey Armstrong, 36, said that after the stabbing he had the presence of mind to break a cellphone when one of them tried to call 911, according to a probable cause declaration filed in court Wednesday.

Also, Armstrong called his wife after she drove off with their children and told her he was going away for a long time and she needed to find a new place to live, the document says.

Armstrong, his wife, children and his sister, Gina Armstrong, 37, were among those who lived at the house in the 1400 block of Green Street where the stabbing occurred Monday afternoon.

In addition to murder, Joey Armstrong faces charges of damaging a communication device and destroying evidence.

His arraignment Wednesday was postponed for one week to allow the Public Defender’s office to check for conflicts of interest.

Family members reported Joey Armstrong and his sister were arguing when he went to his bedroom and grabbed a knife from his nightstand. They said they screamed at him to stop. Shortly afterward, they heard “shrieking screams” coming from downstairs, according to the report.

Gina Armstrong was found lying on the garage floor, bleeding and semiconscious, family told police in the report. Joey Armstrong stood a few feet from her, still holding the knife and with blood on his shirt.

Airlifted to Kern Medical, Gina Armstrong was pronounced dead.

Police found Joey Armstrong sitting in his bedroom, wearing a different shirt, according to the report. Officers found the bloody shirt hidden behind a laundry basket, and the knife in the front yard.

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