The decade's most triggering comedy
A Texas woman convicted of killing a professional cyclist as part of a love triangle has been sentenced to 90 years in prison.
Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, 35, was sentenced on Friday to the lengthy prison term for fatally shooting Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in Austin, Texas, back in May 2022. The same Travis County jury that found Armstrong guilty deliberated for about three hours before recommending 90 years in prison. Judge Brenda Kennedy accepted the recommendation.
“Other than the prosecution team, there really are no winners here,” the victim’s father said after the sentencing was handed down, according to NBC News. “This is not a time for celebration but a time for prayer, a time to pray for our family, her friends and [the] Armstrong family and their friends.”
Armstrong killed Wilson because the professional cyclist had briefly dated Armstrong’s on-again-off-again boyfriend while the two were on a break. Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend, professional cyclist Colin Strickland, testified at the trial about Armstrong’s jealousy and their “tumultuous” relationship.
Strickland said that he once loved Armstrong but wasn’t sure about a long-term relationship with her, which caused tension. The couple lived together even though they took breaks in their relationship, ABC News reported. During these breaks, Strickland said, Armstrong would confront him if she found out he was talking to other women.
In October 2021, Strickland met Wilson at a cycling race in Bentonville, Arkansas. He testified that he and Armstrong broke up shortly after the race.
Strickland began dating Wilson when she was in Austin for a race. He then learned that Armstrong had confronted the other woman about the relationship, which Strickland said was “strange and unnerving” since he didn’t remember telling Armstrong about Wilson. When Wilson left Austin for another race, she and Strickland stopped dating but remained friends.
Strickland and Armstrong got back together by December 2021. During this time, he would text with Wilson on a “professional” basis – discussing gear, races, and sponsorship opportunities, he said. But to “avoid conflict” with Armstrong, Strickland testified that he deleted his messages with Wilson and changed her name in his phone to “Christine Wall.”
On May 11, 2022, Strickland met with Wilson, who was in Austin again for a race. The two went swimming, ate burgers, and drank beer before he dropped her off at a friend’s house. He didn’t tell Armstrong about his day with Wilson but knew Armstrong had access to his Apple account and was able to view his messages with her.
The next day, police arrived at Strickland’s home to tell him Wilson had been murdered. He was brought in for questioning, but police soon turned their attention to Armstrong.
An affidavit filed in relation to the federal case against Armstrong described evidence that Armstrong had committed the murder.
“According to a witness, Armstrong expressed a desire to kill [Wilson] in January 2022, based on a personal grievance toward [Wilson],” the affidavit said, according to the Boston Globe. “A surveillance camera recorded what appears to be Armstrong’s vehicle near the scene of [Wilson’s] murder at the approximate time the murder occurred.”
The filing also said that a pistol belonging to Armstrong had been retrieved from her home during a search and that “Laboratory test-firing of Armstrong’s pistol confirmed that it fired the spent shell casings that [Austin police] found at the scene of the murder.”
Wilson was a star skier through college before switching to cycling and gravitating toward “gravel racing,” described as a sport sitting between road cycling and mountain biking. She was favored to win a 157-mile race on May 14 but was shot and killed days earlier, on May 11.
Police quickly honed in on Armstrong and brought her in for questioning. Days later, on May 14, Armstrong flew from Austin, Texas, where Wilson was killed, to Houston, and then from Houston to LaGuardia Airport in New York. From there, she traveled to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and then flew to San Jose, Costa Rica. A homicide warrant for Armstrong’s arrest was issued on May 18, the day she flew to Costa Rica. On May 25, a federal warrant charged her with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Armstrong was found at a hostel in Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, the Globe reported.