Kaitlin Armstrong has been found guilty of murdering elite cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson. The penalty phase began immediately, and the same jury sentenced her to 90 years in prison.
Armstrong, 35, was apparently in the throes of a jealous rage on May 11, 2022 when she fired bullets into Wilson’s head and heart. Armstrong was allegedly furious that her boyfriend, professional cyclist Colin Strickland, had secretly gone out on a date with Wilson, 25.
A 43-day manhunt for Armstrong ensued when she skipped town after being questioned — and released — by police about why her 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee was caught on surveillance video near the scene of the murder. Police didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest, but Armstrong proceeded to sell her vehicle and hop on a plane. She went from Austin to Houston to New York and eventually landed in Costa Rica.
Armstrong was captured in Costa Rica in July 2022. She had apparently undergone plastic surgery and dyed her hair. She was lying low at a hostel and had been using her sister’s passport. Armstrong was extradited to the U.S., where she pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. Bail was set at $3.5 million and she has remained in custody ever since.
In addition to the murder charge, Armstrong faces a felony charge of escape causing bodily injury after she tried to escape from guards while at a doctor’s appointment in Austin on Oct. 11. According to an affidavit, she took off while exiting the doctor’s office and made it about a mile on foot before being apprehended.
Police believe the escape attempt was premeditated. They say Armstrong spent months “exercising vigorously,” then she complained of an injury that required visiting a doctor outside prison walls. The medical request ensured she would not be wearing leg restraints at her appointment.
The Monday before her trial began, Judge Kennedy ruled that evidence in Armstrong’s alleged attempted escape would be allowed during her murder trial.
At the time of her death, Wilson was in Austin to compete in the 150-mile “Gravel Locos” bicycle race. Wilson, whose career was just taking off, had just reached top levels in both gravel and mountain biking in the U.S.
Investigators believe Wilson had unknowingly gotten caught up in a love triangle. She had dated Strickland during a brief period of time when he and Armstrong were on a break. Armstrong and Strickland reconciled soon after, but according to an arrest affidavit, Armstrong became furious when she found out about the romance.
Armstrong faced up to life in prison at sentencing. The jury sentenced her to 90 years in prison along with a $10,000 fine.
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