(AUSTIN, Texas) — The murder trial of Kaitlin Armstrong, a Texas woman accused of killing professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson, is set to start on Monday in a case that has seen a weekslong international manhunt and an alleged attempt to escape from custody.
Armstrong, 35, was charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Wilson, 25, who was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at a friend’s home in Austin, Texas, on the night of May 11, 2022. Police said at the time that the victim appeared to have been targeted.
Wilson was romantically linked to Armstrong’s boyfriend, a fellow professional cyclist, and was found shot hours after meeting up with him, police said. Armstrong’s 2012 Jeep Cherokee was captured on surveillance footage from a neighboring home stopping outside the residence the night of the homicide, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Days after being questioned by police about the incident, Armstrong, a yoga instructor and realtor, fled Austin, authorities said. After a 43-day search, she was located at a hostel in Costa Rica on June 29, 2022, with an altered appearance — including dyed, shorter hair — according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Her attorneys have claimed in court filings that the affidavit submitted to obtain a warrant for her arrest was “rife with false statements, material omissions, reckless exaggerations and gross mischaracterizations made with a reckless disregard for the truth” and alleged an Austin Police detective illegally interrogated Armstrong. Defense motions to suppress evidence in the case were denied, ABC Austin affiliate KVUE reported.
Armstrong has pleaded not guilty and has been detained since her arrest on a $3.5 million bond.
Authorities allege that for the past several months, Armstrong was preparing to flee from custody — culminating in a failed attempt on Oct. 11 ahead of her trial. She faces a new felony charge — escape causing bodily injury — after the Travis County Sheriff’s Office said she briefly evaded two corrections officers while being transported to an off-site medical appointment.
Armstrong fled on foot after exiting the doctor’s office and refused to obey verbal commands to stop, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. Footage of the incident appears to show Armstrong running from an officer and attempting to scale a 6-foot-tall fence.
Armstrong removed her county-issued black-and-white-striped uniform pants, freed her left hand from her restraints and managed to run approximately one mile before being captured, according to the affidavit.
An investigation found that Armstrong had been “exercising vigorously” in the last several months and that she had secured an outside medical appointment for an injury complaint with a “medical request restricting the use of leg restraints,” according to the affidavit.
She is scheduled to appear in court on the escape charge in mid-November.
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