Kaitlin Armstrong pleads not guilty to the Texas murder of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson


Crime

Armstrong, 34, fled the country after his initial interviews with investigators, sparking a 43-day manhunt that ended with his arrest at a beachside hostel in Costa Rica on 29 June.

A license photo of Kaitlin Armstrong taken before she disappeared (left) and her booking photo (right) at Travis County Jail after being deported from Costa Rica to Texas after 43 days on the run. Officials said she took drastic measures to alter her appearance. United States Marshals Service, Austin Police Department

  • Kaitlin Armstrong pleads not guilty to the Texas murder of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson

    New details emerge about steps Kaitlin Armstrong took to evade police after Vermont cyclist died

  • How authorities say Kaitlin Armstrong arrived in Costa Rica — and how they found her

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A woman accused of killing professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson as a romantic rival pleaded not guilty to a murder charge on Wednesday, as her attorneys demanded a speedy trial the judge had then scheduled to open at the end of October.

Wilson, 25, was found shot on May 11. Kaitlin Armstrong, 34, fled the country after her initial interviews with investigators, sparking a 43-day manhunt that ended with her arrest at a beachside hostel in Costa Rica on June 29.

Authorities said she tried to change her appearance and used several aliases as she traveled around Costa Rica while trying to establish herself as a yoga teacher there.

A competitive gravel and mountain bike racer and Vermont native known as “Mo,” Wilson was in Austin for a race she was among the favorites to win. Police say Wilson previously dated Armstrong’s boyfriend, cyclist Colin Strickland, who they say cooperated with investigators and is not a suspect.

Kaitlin Armstrong pleads not guilty to the Texas murder of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson
Anna Moria Wilson. –Ansel Dickey

Investigators say Armstrong’s SUV was seen on surveillance video outside the home where Wilson was killed. Armstrong faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted. She is being held on $3.5 million bail.

Prosecutors questioned whether the speedy trial setting constituted a “privilege” for Armstrong, as it would put his case ahead of other murder trials that have waited two or more years due to the slowing pandemic. They also noted that investigators are still gathering evidence that prosecutors and defense attorneys have yet to receive.

‘If they choose to charge without evidence, that’s the district attorney’s problem,’ Armstrong’s attorney Rick Cofer told District Judge Brenda Kennedy before she granted the request. to set a trial date and that it begins on October 24.

After the brief court hearing, Cofer suggested Armstrong’s defense will challenge the evidence-gathering and conduct of Austin police investigators, and whether they failed to pursue leads that could have led to a another suspect.

“Ms. Armstrong wants her day in court,” Cofer said, not answering questions. “Put simply, there’s a lot more to this story that has yet to be heard.”



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