A former fugitive has been sentenced to 90 years in jail after murdering her love rival in a jealous rage, earlier than fleeing the US and having cosmetic surgery to attempt to evade authorities.
Kaitlin Armstrong, 35, was convicted of shooting dead professional cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson after the 25-year-old went swimming and had a meal and rum drinks with Armstrong’s boyfriend Colin Strickland earlier that night.
A Texas jury discovered Armstrong responsible of homicide on Thursday and a day later took three hours to resolve her sentence. She confronted a most of 99 years for the crime.
Armstrong left the Austin courtroom instantly after the decision, as her household could possibly be heard sobbing.
Wilson’s household embraced one another after the sentencing, as her mom Karen Wilson addressed the courtroom.
Armstrong, she stated: “While you shot Moriah within the coronary heart, you shot me within the coronary heart… all of the individuals who beloved her, pierced their hearts.”
Armstrong used fitness app Strava to track Ms Wilson down to an residence in Austin – the place she shot her twice within the head and as soon as within the coronary heart earlier than fleeing the scene.
On the time of the homicide in Could 2022, the killer was in a relationship with one other skilled bicycle owner, Mr Strickland.
The pair had been collectively for about three years earlier than a interval of separation – throughout which Mr Strickland had a short relationship with Ms Wilson.
Armstrong and Mr Strickland then bought again collectively, however she remained jealous of her rival and had known as Ms Wilson warning her to “keep away”.
Two of Armstrong’s associates stated she informed them she needed to, or might, kill Ms Wilson, jurors have been informed.
Ms Wilson had been visiting Texas for a biking race and was among the many favourites to win. She had been staying with a buddy when she was killed.
Following the homicide, police managed to briefly interview Armstrong. However she then bought her Jeep and fled to Costa Rica utilizing her sister’s passport.
As soon as overseas, she spent greater than $6,000 (£4,850) having surgical procedure to alter the looks of her nostril, in addition to altering the color and elegance of her hair.
However she was finally arrested at a beachside hostel after 43 days on the run.
Armstrong made a second try to evade justice when she tried to flee authorities throughout a medical appointment exterior jail final month. She faces a separate felony escape cost.
Jurors deliberated for about two hours after two weeks of testimony earlier than delivering their verdict on Thursday.
Earlier, Ms Wilson’s buddy Caitlin Money had informed the courtroom she found her physique and tried to carry out CPR.
She informed jurors she had texted Ms Wilson’s mom earlier that day with a message: “Your woman is in protected fingers right here in Austin.”
“I felt quite a lot of guilt not having the ability to defend her,” Ms Money stated. “I fought for her with every thing I had.”
Karen Wilson additionally informed the courtroom: “From the day she was born, she had a power in her.
“She lived as if on daily basis was her final day. And she or he lived it so absolutely. She by no means wasted any time… It is as if she knew her life could be brief.”
Armstrong, a yoga trainer, didn’t testify on her personal behalf throughout the trial, which heard her Jeep was seen close to the residence on the time of Ms Wilson’s homicide.
Bullet casings discovered close to Ms Wilson’s physique additionally matched a gun Armstrong owned.
She denied homicide and her legal professionals claimed she was the sufferer of a “nightmare” of circumstantial proof.