AUSTIN (KXAN) — Attorneys for the Austin woman accused of murdering a professional cyclist are laying the groundwork for her trial scheduled later this year.
Kaitlin Armstrong is accused of killing Anna Moriah Wilson in May, fleeing for more than 40 days before she was arrested in Costa Rica. Armstrong pleaded not guilty last month. Her attorneys have now filed new documents to try and throw out evidence from being used in court set for October, claiming she wasn’t questioned correctly.
In the new documents filed Wednesday, Armstrong’s attorneys, Cofer & Connelly, claim Austin Police interrogated her, obtaining evidence with an “illegal arrest warrant.” They say detectives also didn’t read Armstrong her Miranda rights before questioning her.
For context, Miranda rights is a warning given by police to a suspect informing them of their right to remain silent, a right to a lawyer and right to terminate the interview at any time. Armstrong’s attorneys filed motions for a “Franks” hearing. This is an attempt to prove to the judge officers may have falsified or lied on affidavits to obtain a search warrant.
Armstrong was questioned May 12, a day after Wilson was found dead in an east Austin home, for an unrelated misdemeanor charge after authorities accused her of skipping out on a Botox bill in 2018. Photos of the interrogation show Armstrong in the room in handcuffs before attorneys say she was then asked about Wilson’s murder.
According to court documents, Armstrong asked for an attorney several times. “Do I need an attorney here?” “I feel like I should have an attorney present,” Armstrong reportedly said. She also asked to leave at least five times, but attorneys say she was still questioned. Lawyers for Armstrong allege an APD detective wrote down “inaccurate” information from the interview, and it was “out of chronological order.”
Armstrong was eventually let go after Austin Police realized a discrepancy that her date of birth did not match the date on the warrant.
Professional cyclist Colin Strickland, Armstrong’s boyfriend and friend of Wilson, called the Austin Police report “misleading” in an interview with the American edition of the British tabloid, “The Sun.”
The 34-year-old Armstrong was arrested in June at a hostel in Costa Rica where U.S. Marshals say she was starting a new life. Authorities say Armstrong used someone else’s passport to get there and even used several aliases to establish herself as a yoga instructor in the country.
KXAN reached out to Austin Police for a statement on the claims. It replied Monday it won’t comment on pending litigation.
If the interview evidence is thrown out, Armstrong’s team will still need to prove why she fled the country. Armstrong is the only suspect in the case according to police. She pleaded not guilty and is being held on a $3.5 million bond. She faces up to 99 years in prison if she’s convicted.