Kaitlin Armstrong’s trial is scheduled to start in October, and the details are already complicated to unravel, with the defense accusing prosecutors and investigators of weaving a deceptive narrative about the woman accused of coldly murdering her boyfriend’s alleged mistress, according to a report by the Austin American-Statesman.
Armstrong has been charged with first-degree murder, according to the affidavit issued back in May. In what has been deemed a love triangle gone wrong, professional cyclist Mo Wilson, 25-years-old, and Armstrong had both been romantically involved with professional cyclist, 35-year-old Colin Strickland, the affidavit states.
On May 11, Wilson was found shot dead on the bathroom floor of her friend’s home where she was staying, days before a race in which she was to participate in Austin, Texas, according to the affidavit.
Police brought Armstrong in for an interview days after the murder on an arrest warrant for an unpaid Botox bill from 2018, though a detective mistakenly deemed the warrant invalid due to an error of her birth date, the Statesman says.
Armstrong’s defense attorney, Rick Cofer, has filed a motion to suppress evidence collected by investigators due to the fact they did not read Armstrong her Miranda rights before the May 12 interview, and she had to ask to leave six times before police released her, the Statesman reports.
The defense argues that this means evidence was gathered improperly and should not be admissible into court, and the motion requests an evidentiary hearing, the Statesman says.
The Statesman describes the transcribed interview police had with Strickland, in which he explained how he and Wilson dated briefly in October 2021, after he and Armstrong had broken up after a long-term relationship, though the fling with Wilson ended and Strickland went back to Armstrong.
Strickland is not considered a suspect in the murder, though a few of his sponsors dropped him following Wilson’s death, the Statesman reports.
The Statesman also points out that in the interview, Strickland claimed that Armstrong sometimes let her sister borrow her black Jeep, which according to the arrest affidavit, was allegedly seen outside of the residence where Wilson was staying shortly after the murder.
Strickland told police that Armstrong contacted Wilson when he started seeing her in October 2o21, the Statesman says.
“Kaitlin did call her and pretty much just said, ‘Hey, do you know that I pretty much live at Colin's house’ — or I don't know exactly what was ... I didn't really dive in. But I do know she called her, and Mo was like, ‘That was really weird,’” Strickland said, according to the Statesman.
However, Strickland also added that he didn’t believe Armstrong was capable of murder in the May 17 interview he had with police, the Statesman notes.
“Do I think Kaitlin could kill somebody? No, I don't,” he said, the Statesman explains.
Strickland described someone caring and compassionate when he spoke of Armstrong to police, as the Statesman describes via the transcript.
“She's an incredibly kind, caring, sweet person who has helped me take care of my aging mother, she helped her secure like $20,000 in unemployment — by just going — being on the phone for five days. Like she is — has only shown shining examples. I mean, in my experience, has only shown absolute above and beyond examples of human compassion and thoughtfulness and care and going far out of her way for ridiculous things, like, ridiculous extents to help other humans,” Strickland said in the transcript.
The defense argues that police took Strickland’s words out of context to weave a narrative about Armstrong, the Statesman says.
“The affidavit completely mischaracterized and falsely stated Mr. Strickland’s words to fabricate a theory of jealousy as a presumed motive for the murder. The affidavit failed to include multiple statements by Mr. Strickland in which he adamantly insisted that Ms. Armstrong could not have murdered Ms. Wilson,” Cofer said, according to the Statesman.
The prosecution has filed a motion to prohibit comments to the media, which the defense claims would only silence their side, since the prosecution’s side is already highly-reported on in the press, Fox News reports.
Armstrong fled from Texas to New York City, where she visited her sister, then to New Jersey, where she then flew to Costa Rica to hide out in a hostel, then was arrested after 43 days of evading authorities, according to the US Marshals.
She was arrested on an immigration violation by Costa Rica police for using fake passports, then deported to the US, where she has been in custody since, according to Fox News.
Her attorneys are demanding a speedy trial despite the multiple motions filed, and Armstrong is due back in court for a pretrial hearing on August 24, according to Fox News.