AUSTIN (KXAN) – A Texas jury returned a guilty verdict Thursday in the trial of Kaitlin Armstrong, who was accused of killing professional cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17, 2022, six days after she shot and killed Wilson at an east Austin apartment. Wilson was staying with a friend in town ahead of a nearby gravel race.
Throughout the trial, the State’s witnesses presented a series of electronic and DNA evidence that placed Armstrong at the murder scene. Defense attorneys addressed what they suggested were issues or discrepancies in the investigation process and asked questions suggesting the possibility of the involvement of Colin Strickland — Armstrong’s then-boyfriend and a friend of Wilson’s.
Strickland testified early on in the trial that he and Wilson were briefly romantic in the fall of 2021 during a time where he and Armstrong were broken up. He said he and Wilson stayed friends and maintained a professional relationship through cycling. Strickland and Wilson went to the Deep Eddy Pool and Pool Burger together on the afternoon of May 11, 2022, before Armstrong shot and killed Wilson later that night.
Jurors will now decide how long Armstrong’s sentence will be. They will return to court Friday morning to deliberate.
Ahead of that second round of deliberation, both sides called witnesses to the stand again.
Wilson’s parents, brother and Caitlin Cash delivered emotional testimony on Wilson’s behalf. Through tears, they discussed how kind and driven Wilson was – and how proud they were of how quickly she achieved her goal of becoming a professional cyclist.
Armstrong’s father and sister, as well as a woman who worked with her in a prison outreach program, spoke on her behalf.
Her sister Christie cried immediately once she got on the stand. She said Kaitlin is her best friend, and she also looked at the Wilson family and said her heart goes out to them.
Christie was the only witness cross examined in this portion of the testimony. Prosecutors asked her if she gave Kaitlin her passport to get to Costa Rica. Christie said she did not.
Recap of the trial
During their eight days of calling witnesses, state prosecutors had the following people testify:
- Wilson’s brother
- Wilson’s friend Caitlin Cash who called 911 when she found Wilson wounded on the floor in her apartment
- Crime scene analysts
- Various members of the Austin Police Department, including homicide detectives and officers who responded to the murder scene
- People who live near the home where Wilson died
- Colin Strickland
- Armstrong’s friends
- A U.S. Deputy Marshal who found Armstrong in Costa Rica about one month after Wilson’s death
- The owner of a gun range Armstrong went to months before the murder
- Forensic specialists
- Secret Service agent
- Representative from the cycling tracking app Strava
- Corrections officer
- Ballistics examiner
- An intelligence analyst with the Texas Attorney General’s Office who mapped out a timeline of Armstrong’s, Wilson’s and Strickland’s likely whereabouts the day of the murder
Defense attorneys called the following witnesses:
- DNA analyst
- APD officer who picked Armstrong up on an unrelated misdemeanor warrant the day after the murder
- DNA forensic consultant
- Ballistics expert