A jury in Austin, Texas on Thursday found Kaitlin Armstrong guilty of first-degree murder in the death of former gravel racing pro Moriah “Mo” Wilson.
On May 11, 2022, Wilson, 25, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds in an apartment in Austin, where she was staying with a friend ahead of a competition in the area. Suspicion quickly settled on Armstrong, the then-girlfriend of Wilson’s fellow gravel racing professional, Colin Strickland, and the case began to draw widespread attention.
As Strickland testified at Armstrong’s trial, he was briefly involved in a relationship with Wilson, and the two had maintained a friendship afterward, including going swimming together at an area pool the day Wilson was killed. Austin police issued an arrest warrant for Armstrong on May 17 after interviews and other evidence connected her to the murder, but by that point she had already fled, ultimately to Costa Rica. She was apprehended June 30, 2022 and has remained in custody since, despite a brief escape attempt last month.
Prosecutors spent a week of the trial laying out a wide variety of evidence tying Armstrong to the crime, ranging from direct testimony and electronic evidence related to Armstrong’s jealousy of Strickland’s relationship with Wilson, to forensic evidence like surveillance camera footage that showed Armstrong’s vehicle in the area around the time of the killing and her DNA on Wilson’s bicycle, which had been discarded near the apartment. Armstrong’s defense focused on the lack of eyewitnesses to the murder and called four witnesses, but Armstrong did not testify.
The jury deliberated just over two hours before returning a guilty verdict. Armstrong faces up to 99 years in prison. Immediately post-verdict, the case entered the sentencing phase, with more testimony; the jury will enter sentencing deliberations on Friday.
Wilson was a treasured member of the gravel racing community, and family and friends have started the Moriah Wilson Foundation in her memory to support access and opportunity in sports and recreation. Escape Collective would like to express its heartfelt sympathy to Wilson’s loved ones.