Kaitlin Armstrong trial verdict: Killer yoga teacher is found GUILTY of murdering love rival Mo Wilson who had dated her boyfriend Colin Strickland
- Armstrong faces 99 years in prison for the killing of Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson
- Jurors were shown bombshell video of Wilson’s last moments, as she screamed in terror as Armstrong approached her with a gun
- A Texas jury decided Armstrong’s fate in less than two hours
Killer yoga teacher Kaitlin Armstrong has been found guilty of gunning down her love rival Moriah Wilson as the victim screamed in terror during her final moments.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours before delivering its guilty verdict in an Austin, Texas, courtroom on Thursday afternoon. Armstrong, 35, now faces up to 99 years in prison.
Jurors believed a trove of evidence showing that Armstrong had stalked her boyfriend, Colin Strickland and Wilson while they were out to dinner on May 11, 2022.
After dinner, Strickland dropped Wilson off at a friend’s house, and minutes later, Armstrong’s Jeep appeared outside the apartment.
Security cameras from neighbors captured the Jeep arriving, gunshots and the SUV leaving.
Kaitlin Armstrong looks over at the jury during her trial that ended with a guilty conviction
Moriah Wilson (left) who went by ‘Mo’, was an up and coming cyclist, and was described as a prodigy. She met Colin Strickland, who was a celebrated cyclist in his own right. Although Strickland dated and lived with Kaitlin Armstrong, Wilson and Strickland had a sexual relationship in fall of 2021 when Armstrong and Strickland were broken up
As the verdict was announced, Armstrong looked straight ahead showing little emotion.
‘Friends and family of Mo Wilson are crying tears of joy silently as they hear the news read out loud. Huge hugs from the Wilson family. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson hug,’ according to NewsNation reporter Alex Caprariello.
Jurors were shown bombshell video showing what appeared to be Wilson’s last moments – where she could be heard screaming, followed by gunshots.
‘The last thing that Mo Wilson did on this Earth on May 11, 2022, at 9:15 p.m. was scream in terror,’ state prosecutor Rickey Jones declared during closing arguments.
In her final hours alive, Wilson met with Colin Strickland, Armstrong’s live-in boyfriend.
After Strickland dropped Wilson off at a friend’s apartment, a black Jeep belonging to Armstrong was caught by multiple surveillance cameras in the neighborhood. Her car’s GPS and phone GPS also put Armstrong at the scene of the crime.
Armstrong, 35, looked somber Thursday as she watched jurors leave the courtroom to begin deliberations in her murder case
‘[I] never [have] seen so much evidence in my life against one person,’ Jones stated.
Wilson was shot twice in the head, once in the heart and once in the finger, a medical examiner testified earlier this week, explaining the bullet wound on her finger was a defensive wound, meaning Wilson likely tried to shield herself from being shot.
‘Then she (Armstrong) runs to Costa Rica, gets plastic surgery, teaching yoga on the beach, while the Wilsons are left trying to pick up the pieces,’ Jones said, referring to the victim’s grieving family who have been in court every day for the last three weeks, taking up the first three rows of the gallery.
Armstrong fled Austin days after Wilson’s slaying to Costa Rica to avoid being charged.
She left the country using a passport that belonged to her sister, Christine.
The yoga teacher is pictured before the attack (left) and after fleeing the country (right). Police said she underwent plastic surgery, said to be a nose job, and dyed her hair brown while on the run
Armstrong is seen arriving at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston as she was brought back from Costa Rica
US Marshals eventually tracked her to a remote beach town where she was living under several aliases and had a nose job and a brow lift.
The former yoga teacher tried to escape from police custody a second time 19 days before her trial began.
‘She’s running from you and you and you and you…because you are a jury of her peers. Everybody deserves their day in court, and she got hers,’ Jones said on Thursday while pointing to members of the jury.
Armstrong quietly listened to closing arguments, wearing a black pantsuit and dark teal blouse.
Cameras haven’t been allowed in the courtroom for the trial that began Oct. 30, except for opening and closing statements.
Defense Attorney Rick Cofer spoke to jurors second, labeling Strickland a ‘poster boy for Peter Pan syndrome,’ while describing him as a liar and womanizer.
Armstrong appeared more somber Thursday during closing arguments than in previous days. During other periods of the trial, she intently listened to testimony and evidence that was being offered up
Armstrong’s attorney Rick Cofer during closing arguments Thursday in Austin, Texas
Prosecutor Rickey Jones points at Armstrong during closing arguments as he told jurors she was Wilson’s killer
‘Mo Wilson was not the first woman in Colin’s life,’ Cofer quipped.
‘She had to be portrayed as a jealous psycho to explain motive.’
But jealousy, Coffey added, does not equal murder, calling Armstrong’s insecurity normal human emotions of not trusting a cheating boyfriend.
Armstrong’s lawyer reminded the jury DNA taken from Wilson’s body to see if she had been raped the night of her murder was never tested.
Neither was unknown DNA on Wilson’s bike.
‘The truth of the matter is that APD didn’t want a single piece of evidence in front of you that points away from Kaitlin Armstrong. They don’t want a single piece of evidence that is inconsistent with their case,’ her lawyer added.
Strickland storms out of the Travis County courthouse after giving evidence against his ex last week
Cofer also addressed Armstrong’s two attempts to escape, portraying her as ‘terrified,’ and adding she could have been afraid she would be murdered next.
While saying Armstrong did not kill Wilson, Cofer admitted he doesn’t know who the real killer is.
‘Anyone could have entered that unlocked apartment,’ the defense attorney said.
Jurors in the case did not hear from Armstrong as she declined to testify in her defense.
Armstrong’s sentence will be decided in a separate punishment phase which began shortly after the verdict was announced. In this ‘mini trial,’ the state and defense will call witnesses.
The state immediately swore in Wilson’s friends and family after the verdict was read, making them potential witnesses.
The first witness to be called was Caitlin Cash, the friend who Wilson was staying with the night of the murder.
She told jurors how Wilson was staying with them and how excited they were to see her.
They text Wilson’s mom when Wilson went for a bike ride with a photo that said, ‘Your girl is in safe hands here in Austin.’
Wilson’s mom let out an audible cry.
Cash detailed finding Wilson after she had been shot and giving her CPR for ten minutes while the ambulance arrived, calling it the longest ten minutes of her life.
Once both the state and defense have called all their witnesses, the jury will once again deliberate on how much time Armstrong will spend in prison.
The jury is set to begin deliberating about sentencing at 9am tomorrow.
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