AUSTIN (KXAN) — Nearly a year and a half after professional cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson was shot and killed at an Austin home in May 2022, the trial of the woman accused of murdering Wilson is set to begin Oct. 30.
Kaitlin Armstrong originally pleaded not guilty in July 2022. Her arrest and plea came after a 43-day fugitive hunt, where she was ultimately arrested and detained in Costa Rica before being transported back to Austin.
Here’s a look back at Wilson’s death, the ongoing murder case and what’s happened since.
May 11, 2022: Woman found dead in east Austin home
Late May 11, 2022, Austin Police responded to a 911 call in east Austin to a residence along Maple Avenue. Police found an unconscious woman with a gunshot wound, who died from her injuries at the scene.
May 12, 2022: Austin Police question Kaitlin Armstrong on shooting
The Austin Police Department questioned Armstrong on May 12, 2022, Det. Richard Spitler confirmed in an APD news conference. Questions centered around Armstrong’s Jeep, which was in the area near the east Austin home around the time of Wilson’s death.
According to Spitler, Armstrong “wouldn’t confirm or deny being in the area” and ended the interview.
“Armstrong was mistakenly released from custody on [a] misdemeanor warrant, because her date of birth in our report management system did not match the date of birth on the warrant,” Spitler said.
Details of that prior misdemeanor warrant weren’t available at the time of the press conference.
May 14, 2022: East Austin shooting victim identified
Three days later, police identified the woman as Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, a professional cyclist known for her gravel and mountain bike racing. She had been visiting Texas to compete in the Gravel Locos race 135 miles north of Austin in Hico, cycling outlet VeloNews reported.
May 14, 2022: Armstrong flies from Austin to New York
Around 12:30 p.m. on May 14, 2022, Armstrong flew from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Houston Hobby Airport before connecting to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, U.S. Marshals confirmed. Surveillance footage depict her passing through AUS.
KXAN asked Spitler if her prior misdemeanor warrant would have prevented her from flying. Spitler told KXAN that’s unlikely since it was a misdemeanor and not a felony.
May 17, 2022: Arrest warrant issued for Armstrong
Court records detail Wilson went for a swim with a friend, a fellow professional cyclist named Colin Strickland, the night of her death.
Strickland told police he’d been in a relationship with Armstrong for three years, according to documents. During a break in their relationship, he met and began dating Wilson, per the affidavit.
Strickland and Armstrong were living together and police said Strickland lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts May 11, 2022. He told her he’d dropped flowers off for someone and his phone died.
Strickland dropped Wilson off at the east Austin home around 8:35 p.m. May 11, 2022, per documents. One minute later, security camera footage showed Armstrong’s car pull up. Strickland separately confirmed the car shown in the security footage was Armstrong’s.
According to the arrest affidavit, “Armstrong has deleted her social media accounts and has not been seen or heard from since last Friday, May 13.”
May 20, 2022: Federal agents begin search for Armstrong
On May 20, 2022, U.S. Marshals issued a wanted poster for Armstrong. The U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force entered the search and was “conducting a fugitive investigation and pursuing leads on Armstrong’s whereabouts.”
May 21, 2022: Wilson’s family clears up details of alleged relationship with Strickland
On May 21, 2022, Wilson’s family issued a statement to KXAN clarifying details surrounding Wilson’s alleged romantic relationship with Strickland.
“While we will not elaborate about the ongoing investigation, we do feel it’s important to clarify that at the time of her death, those closest to her clearly understood, directly from Moriah, that she was not in a romantic relationship with anyone,” the family wrote in the statement.
Investigators said based on a search of Wilson’s phone, text messages indicated she was “still in a romantic relationship with Strickland even though he was currently dating Armstrong.”
The family’s statement contradicted investigators’ assessment.
“We are absolutely devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter and sister, Anna Moriah Wilson. There are no words that can express the pain and suffering we are experiencing due to this senseless, tragic loss. Moriah was a talented, kind, and caring young woman. Her life was taken from her before she had the opportunity to achieve everything she dreamed of. Our family, and all those who loved her, will forever miss her,” the family wrote.
May 23, 2022: Memorial ride in Wilson’s memory announced
On May 23, 2022, cyclists from across Austin announced a planned memorial ride in Wilson’s memory. The ride, scheduled for May 29, kicked off at Republic Square in downtown Austin at 5:30 p.m.
Event organizers encouraged participants to donate to the Wilson family’s Mo Wilson Fund, with proceeds dedicated to helping kids build up their confidence via sports.
May 25, 2022: U.S. Marshals confirm Armstrong fled Austin after crime
In a press conference, U.S. Marshals confirmed for the first time Armstrong had flown from Austin to New York three days after the crime.
Security footage from AUS shows Armstrong was last seen wearing a blue denim jacket, a black shirt with a pink design on her chest, white jeans, black-and-white sneakers and a black COVID-19 mask, along with a yoga mat holder over her shoulders.
This update came after U.S. Marshals previously said she was still believed to be in the Austin area due to her community ties.
June 6, 2022: New details about Armstrong’s Newark airport travels
On this day, U.S. Marshals released information that Armstrong was dropped off at Newark Liberty International Airport on May 18, 2022, a day after Austin police got an arrest warrant for her. This was after she flew from Austin to New York.
Investigators said, however, no outbound flight reservations were made in Armstrong’s name.
June 23, 2022: Jeep belonging to Armstrong found
U.S. Marshals announced they found the black Jeep Grand Cherokee registered to Armstrong. Authorities said Armstrong sold the vehicle on May 13 to a CarMax dealership in south Austin for $12,200.
June 30, 2022: Armstrong captured in Costa Rica
U.S. Marshals said Armstrong was arrested at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Costa Rica. Authorities said she used a fraudulent passport on May 18 to board a United Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey to San Jose, Costa Rica.
U.S. Marshals said she was found with an altered appearance. Armstrong had shoulder-length hair that had been dyed dark brown, along with bandaging on her nose and bruising under her eyes from a reported surfboarding incident.
Their investigation also found she was frequenting several yoga studios and taking classes at them “to better her profession to teach a specific type of yoga.”
It was a 43-day fugitive hunt.
July 2, 2022: Armstrong booked in Harris County Jail
Armstrong was taken back to Texas, days after she was captured in Costa Rica. It was planned she would eventually be transferred to Austin.
Photos from travelers at the airport showed Armstrong back on U.S. soil. Armstrong was seen wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt, black joggers and flip flops.
July 5, 2022: Armstrong in Austin
Armstrong arrived in Austin after being transferred from Harris County Jail.
July 12, 2022: Search warrant for alleged Armstrong email account
APD filed a search warrant for an email account associated with Armstrong. Police believe Armstrong used the account as she was fleeing Austin. Court documents stated police learned Armstrong had bought a new phone and prepaid debit card at Walmart after her original phone was taken during a search of her Austin home.
The card was used to pay for a trip with a ride service to the airport. That is how police found an email account they believe was used by Armstrong, court documents said.
July 20, 2022: Armstrong pleads not guilty
On this day, Armstrong appeared in an Austin courtroom for the first time and pleaded not guilty. Her attorneys asked for a speedy trial. The judge then set the docket call for the case for Oct. 19, with a jury trial the week after.
Aug. 19, 2022: Armstrong attorneys accuse police of violating legal rights in murder case
Armstrong’s attorneys filed new documents to try and throw out evidence from being used in court, saying she wasn’t questioned correctly. In the documents, they claimed Austin Police interrogated her, obtaining evidence with an “illegal arrest warrant.” They also said detectives also didn’t read Armstrong her Miranda rights before questioning her on May 12.
Aug. 24, 2022: Armstrong trial likely to be pushed later than October
A Travis County judge said in a pretrial hearing the odds of Armstrong heading to trial in October are highly unlikely.
Aug. 26, 2022: Search warrant for Armstrong’s belongings
KXAN obtained court documents which said a search of Armstrong’s belongings found she had her sister’s passport and a United Airlines boarding pass in her sister’s name from Newark to Costa Rica.
Also found were medical cards and paperwork, including a receipt for $6,360 for plastic surgery for “Alisson Paige” on June 23 at a medical center in Costa Rica.
Oct. 19 and Oct. 24, 2022: Armstrong appears in court for pre-trial hearing
Armstrong appeared in court in late October 2022 as part of a pre-trial hearing before the start of her official jury trial. The procedural hearing focused on the arrest warrant for Armstrong originally filed by Spitler, who served as lead detective on Wilson’s murder case.
Armstrong’s defense team filed a Frank’s Motion at her pre-trial hearing — a legal proceeding when a court is asked to determine whether a police officer or detective lied while pursuing an arrest warrant.
The defense alleged Spitler had reckless disregard for the truth while filing the arrest warrant and left out critical information from related documents.
May 4, 2023: Armstrong trial start date postponed
Travis County court records revealed the jury trial date for Armstrong had been postponed. Armstrong had been set to appear in court June 22, but that date was later moved to Oct. 30, per court records.
Armstrong faces a first-degree murder charge and remained in Travis County jail on bonds of more than $3.5 million.
Oct. 11, 2023: Armstrong attempts escape ahead of Austin murder trial
Armstrong attempted to escape custody of Travis County corrections officers Oct. 11. She ran from officers while leaving a medical office building shortly after 8 a.m. on Oct. 11. After a 10-minute chase, officers caught up with her and restrained her.
A Travis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirmed to KXAN officers never lost sight of her during the pursuit through the south Austin neighborhood.
KXAN investigators obtained a subpoena filed by the state on Oct. 11 that requested Armstrong’s medical records from St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, located a few blocks away from her attempted escape. The records also noted a request for surveillance footage from late Oct. 10 into early Oct. 11 from St. David’s South Austin Medical Center.
A separate request filed by the state centered on records related to Armstrong’s jail, disciplinary, mental health and medical history dating back to mid-September.
Oct. 12, 2023: Armstrong faces new felony charge after attempted escape
Jail records showed Armstrong faced a second-degree felony charge of escape causing bodily injury following her attempted escape Oct. 11. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed one corrections officer was injured while trying to apprehend her.
Cell phone video captured by a KXAN viewer showed Armstrong running on a hill next to the medical office’s parking lot, with an officer chasing her. You can see the woman, who had restrained hands at the time, trying to jump over the fence.
As to whether the added charge and escape attempt could impact Armstrong’s trial, former Travis County Prosecutor Alan Bennet said it’s ultimately up to a judge to decide whether the escape attempt is admissible in court.