Yoga teacher Kaitlin Armstrong was found guilty Thursday of murdering love rival Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson who had dated her boyfriend Colin Strickland
Armstrong, 35, faces 99 years in prison after she was convicted of killing Wilson, a 25-year-old star pro cyclist
Armstrong from Austin, Texas was charged with the shooting death of her love rival Anna Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson, in May, 2022
Surveillance camera footage put Armstrong’s black Jeep at the murder scene in Austin
Questioned two days later by police, the suspect sold her Jeep hours later and fled to Costa Rica where she changed her looks , undergoing plastic surgery
At the trial, jurors were shown bombshell video of Wilson’s last moments, as she screamed in terror as Armstrong approached her with a gun
The jury in Austin, Texas decided Armstrong’s fate in less than two hours of deliberation
Kaitlin Armstrong looks over at the jury during her trial that ended with a guilty conviction
Killer yoga teacher Kaitlin Armstrong has been found guilty of gunning down her love rival Moriah Wilson as the victim screamed in terror during her final moments.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours before delivering its guilty verdict in an Austin, Texas, courtroom on Thursday afternoon. Armstrong, 35, now faces up to 99 years in prison.
Jurors believed a trove of evidence showing that Armstrong had stalked her boyfriend, Colin Strickland and Wilson while they were out to dinner on May 11, 2022.
Jury pronounces Kaitlin Armstrong GUILTY of murder
After dinner, Strickland dropped Wilson off at a friend’s house, and minutes later, Armstrong’s Jeep appeared outside the apartment.
Security cameras from neighbors captured the Jeep arriving, gunshots and the SUV leaving.
As the verdict was announced, Armstrong looked straight ahead showing little emotion.
‘Friends and family of Mo Wilson are crying tears of joy silently as they hear the news read out loud. Huge hugs from the Wilson family. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson hug,’ according to NewsNation reporter Alex Caprariello.
Moriah Wilson [right] who went by ‘Mo’, was an up and coming cyclist, and was described as a prodigy. She met Colin Strickland, [left], who was a celebrated cyclist in his own right. Although Strickland dated and lived with Kaitlin Armstrong, Wilson and Strickland had a sexual relationship in fall of 2021 when Armstrong and Strickland were broken up
Jurors were shown bombshell video showing what appeared to be Wilson’s last moments – where she could be heard screaming, followed by gunshots.
‘The last thing that Mo Wilson did on this Earth on May 11, 2022, at 9:15 p.m. was scream in terror,’ state prosecutor Rickey Jones declared during closing arguments.
In her final hours alive, Wilson met with Colin Strickland, Armstrong’s live-in boyfriend.
After Strickland dropped Wilson off at a friend’s apartment, a black Jeep belonging to Armstrong was caught by multiple surveillance cameras in the neighborhood. Her car’s GPS and phone GPS also put Armstrong at the scene of the crime.
Armstrong, 35, looked somber Thursday as she watched jurors leave the courtroom to begin deliberations in her murder case
‘[I] never [have] seen so much evidence in my life against one person,’ Jones stated.
Wilson was shot twice in the head, once in the heart and once in the finger, a medical examiner testified earlier this week, explaining the bullet wound on her finger was a defensive wound, meaning Wilson likely tried to shield herself from being shot.
‘Then she (Armstrong) runs to Costa Rica, gets plastic surgery, teaching yoga on the beach, while the Wilsons are left trying to pick up the pieces,’ Jones said, referring to the victim’s grieving family who have been in court every day for the last three weeks, taking up the first three rows of the gallery.
Armstrong fled Austin days after Wilson’s slaying to Costa Rica to avoid being charged.
She left the country using a passport that belonged to her sister, Christine.
Armstrong’s black SUV car was allegedly spotted driving in Wilson’s neighborhood prior to the attack . Her lawyer argued, unsuccessfully that the timestamps on footage with reportedly capture the black Jeep Grand Cherokee driving past Wilson’s friends home were wrong
Kaitlin Armstrong was caught on surveillance cameras as she arriving at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, one leg of her flight from US on May 14, three days after Wilson’s death and hours after she was questioned by police. She’d sold her black Jeep a day earlier
The now brown haired Kaitlin Armstrong [center], after her arrest in Costa Rica on June 30. US Marshalls tracked her down to the beach town of St Teresa De Cobano
Armstrong prior to the attack was known for her blond tresses [left], but as a fugitive she dyed her hair brown, while living as a yoga instructor at a beach town resort in rural Costa Rica. She allegedly, also underwent plastic surgery, reconstructing her nose, as cover
Armstrong is seen led by Marshalls as she arrived at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. She had fled to Costa Rica where she was arrested and extradited to US to face murder charges
US Marshals eventually tracked her to a remote beach town where she was living under several aliases and had a nose job and a brow lift.
The former yoga teacher tried to escape from police custody a second time 19 days before her trial began.
‘She’s running from you and you and you and you…because you are a jury of her peers. Everybody deserves their day in court, and she got hers,’ Jones said on Thursday while pointing to members of the jury.
Armstrong quietly listened to closing arguments, wearing a black pantsuit and dark teal blouse.
Cameras haven’t been allowed in the courtroom for the trial that began Oct. 30, except for opening and closing statements.
Murder suspect Kaitlin Armstrong, seen, [photo], sitting next to her attorney Rick Cofer, declined to take the stand. At closing on Thursday she appeared more somber than on previous days, as she listened intently to arguments by prosecution and defense
Defense attorney Rick Cofer [photo] during closing Thursday in Austin, Texas, argued that jealousy, does not equal murder, calling Armstrong’s insecurity normal human emotions of not trusting a cheating boyfriend [Strickland]
Armstrong while in custody attempted another escape. Cofer argued that his client’s two attempts to escape meant she was ‘terrified.’ That ‘she could have been afraid she would be murdered next’
Defense Attorney Rick Cofer spoke to jurors second, labeling Strickland a ‘poster boy for Peter Pan syndrome,’ while describing him as a liar and womanizer.
‘Mo Wilson was not the first woman in Colin’s life,’ Cofer quipped.
‘She had to be portrayed as a jealous psycho to explain motive.’
But jealousy, Coffey added, does not equal murder, calling Armstrong’s insecurity normal human emotions of not trusting her cheating boyfriend, (Colin Strickland).
‘The last thing that Mo Wilson did on this Earth on May 11, 2022, at 9:15 p.m. was scream in terror,’ prosecutor Rickey Jones said at closing. Jurors heard the bombshell video showing the victim’s last moments – Wilson could be heard screaming, followed by gunshots
Armstrong’s lawyer reminded the jury DNA taken from Wilson’s body to see if she had been raped the night of her murder was never tested.
Neither was unknown DNA on Wilson’s bike.
‘The truth of the matter is that APD didn’t want a single piece of evidence in front of you that points away from Kaitlin Armstrong. They don’t want a single piece of evidence that is inconsistent with their case,’ her lawyer added.
Cofer also addressed Armstrong’s two attempts to escape, saying his client was ‘terrified.’ She ‘could have been afraid she would be murdered next’, the defense attorney told the court.
Going for reasonable doubt Cofer told the court Armstrong did not kill Wilson said Cofer, while admitting he had no knowledge of the real killer: ‘Anyone could have entered that unlocked apartment,’ the defense attorney said.
Jurors in the case did not hear from Armstrong as she declined to testify in her defense.
Man in the middle: Colin Strickland [right], storms out of the Travis County courthouse after giving evidence against his ex-girlfriend Kaitlin Armstrong, last week
Armstrong’s sentence will be decided in a separate punishment phase which began shortly after the verdict was announced. In this ‘mini trial,’ the state and defense will call witnesses.
The state immediately swore in Wilson’s friends and family after the verdict was read, making them potential witnesses.
First witness called by prosecution was Caitlin Cash, the friend who Wilson was staying with the night of the murder. She told jurors how Wilson was staying with them and how excited they were to see her, texting Wilson’s mom when Wilson went for a bike ride with a photo that said, ‘Your girl is in safe hands here in Austin.’
Detailing ‘the longest ten minutes of her life,’ Cash described finding her friend who had been shot and administering CPR for ten minutes while waiting for the ambulance.
The jury is scheduled to begin deliberating on length of sentencing at 9am Friday, after the state and defense must have called all their witnesses