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Crime News Murders

Texas Woman Convicted of Murdering Cyclist Mo Wilson Before Fleeing to Costa Rica

Kaitlin Armstrong was found guilty of first-degree murder Thursday in the 2022 shooting death of elite cyclist Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson. 

By Elisabeth Ford
Kaitlin Armstrong

A Texas woman was convicted of murder Thursday in the 2022 shooting death of rising cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson, an act investigators say was motivated by jealousy.

A jury found Kaitlin Armstrong, 35, guilty of first-degree murder after deliberating for two and a half hours, NBC News reported. They’re set to reconvene for her sentencing Friday.

Wilson was in the Austin area for the Gravel Locos bike race in May 2022 when Armstrong shot her three times, according to NBC. Prosecutors argued that Armstrong killed Wilson in a jealous rage after the mountain biker had spent an evening with former pro cyclist Colin Strickland, with whom Armstrong had a relationship.

RELATED: Yoga Instructor Accused in Love Triangle Killing of Cyclist Allegedly Tracked Victim on Fitness App

After her initial interview with police following Wilson’s killing, Armstrong fled the country to Costa Rica using her sister’s passport, and was captured more than 40 days later at a beachside hotel, according to The Associated Press.

Armstrong’s attorney Rick Cofer argued that the case was poorly investigated, saying that the prosecution had unfairly portrayed his client “as a jealous psycho,” according to the AP.

“Mo” Wilson’s Final Hours Before the Shooting

Wilson was found dead at a friend’s home in Austin just days before the 157-mile race in Hico, Texas.

According to an arrest affidavit from the Travis County District Court obtained by CNN, on May 11, 2022, Wilson spent an afternoon swimming at a local pool with Armstrong’s then-boyfriend, Strickland. They went to dinner together that evening.

During the trial, Strickland testified that he had a brief romantic relationship with Wilson in the fall of 2021 while on a break from his relationship with Armstrong.

A personal photo of Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson

Strickland and Armstrong were living together in May 2022 before the shooting. According to prosecutors, Armstrong had access to his laptop and messages, NBC News reported.

Prosecutors said Armstrong tracked Wilson’s location using the fitness app Strava and stopped her car near the apartment where the cyclist was staying.

RELATED: Officials Release New Info On Murder Suspect Kaitlin Armstrong's Capture In Costa Rica

Security footage collected during the investigation showed a Jeep similar to Armstrong’s circling the scene where Wilson’s body was found, according to NBC News. GPS and cellphone data presented during the trial determined Armstrong’s vehicle was near the residence before Wilson’s murder.

Kaitlin Armstrong was on the run from police

After being interviewed by police in Wilson’s killing, Armstrong sold her Jeep for more than $12,000 and fled to Costa Rica, where she had plastic surgery done on her nose, and changed the appearance of her hair in an effort to conceal her identity, according to the AP.

She was apprehended on June 29, 2022 in the Central American country after 43 days of evading law enforcement and attempting to establish herself as a yoga instructor. She was extradited to the U.S. and booked into Travis County Jail, according to Fox 7 Austin.

What prison sentence is Kaitlin Armstrong facing for murdering “Mo” Wilson?

Armstrong is facing up to 99 years in prison for killing Wilson.

Is convicted killer Kaitlin Armstrong facing any other charges?

Armstrong is also facing escape charges stemming from an incident in October. A Travis County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told Fox 7 that Armstrong attempted to escape custody when she ran from two deputies after leaving a doctor’s appointment.

Before the jury deliberated in Armstrong's murder trial, the court heard Wilson’s loved ones speak of the slain woman.

RELATED: Feds Say Kaitlin Armstrong's Yoga Habit Helped Them Track Her Down In Costa Rica

“She lived as if every day were her last day," her mother Karen Wilson said, according to NBC News. “She never wasted any time. It was as if she knew her life would be short."

Since her death, Wilson’s family has set up a foundation in her name “to promote healthy living and community building by supporting organizations dedicated to expanding access to recreation, sports, and educational programs,” according to the website’s mission statement.

“We want to do what Moriah didn’t have the chance to do,” the Wilson family said about the organization. “What she had said about cycling, we now say about sustaining her legacy and impact in our community: ‘We can’t not do this.’”

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