AUSTIN, Texas – A Texas jury on Friday sentenced a woman to 90 years in prison for the May 2022 shooting death of rising professional cyclist Anna “Mo” Wilson in a case that sent investigators on a search international 43 days to find the murderer.
Jurors deliberated for a little more than three hours before returning the verdict for Kaitlin Armstrong, who investigators say followed Wilson to the apartment where he was staying and shot him three times. On Thursday it only took two hours to convict her.
Prosecutors said Armstrong, 35, shot and killed Wilson, 25, in a jealous rage. Wilson had briefly dated Armstrong’s boyfriend several months earlier. Wilson went swimming and eating with him the day she was killed.
Armstrong’s defense attorneys had urged the jury to consider something less than a life sentence that might offer the possibility of parole.
Wilson, a Vermont native and former alpine skier at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, was a rising star in professional gravel and mountain bike racing. He was visiting Austin before a race in Texas, where he was among the favorites to win.
Kaitlin Armstrong tracked Wilson to the apartment where he was staying through a fitness app and shot him three times, twice in the head and once in the heart, investigators said.
Kaitlin Armstrong was sentenced to 90 years in prison on Friday.AP Armstrong leaves the courtroom after learning her sentence.AP
“I would have done anything to get in the way of that bullet,” Wilson’s mother, Karen Wilson, told jurors Thursday at the start of the punishment phase of the trial. “She didn’t deserve a death like that.”
Wilson added that “from the day she was born, she (Anna Wilson) had a strength in her.”
“He lived as if every day was his last day. And she lived it so fully. She never wasted time. … It’s like she knew her life would be short.”
Kaitlin Armstrong did not testify on his behalf during the trial.
Armstrong did not testify on his behalf throughout the trialAP
Caitlin Cash, the friend who found Wilson’s body and attempted to perform CPR, told jurors that earlier that day she had texted Wilson’s mother a photo of her starting a bike ride with a note: “Your baby girl is in good hands here in Austin.”
“I felt a lot of guilt for not being able to protect her,” Cash said. “I fought for her with everything I had.”
Armstrong’s younger sister, Christine, had told jurors that her older sister “is not a bad person.”
Professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson. Instagram / Moriah Wilson
“She’s such a special person,” Christine Armstrong said before looking at Kaitlin Armstrong. “I have always admired you. … She has always cared about other people.”
Armstrong’s Jeep was seen near the apartment at the time Wilson was shot, and bullet casings found near Wilson’s body matched a gun belonging to Armstrong. Armstrong briefly met with police before selling his vehicle and using his sister’s passport to fly to Costa Rica.
Evidence presented in court of gunshot wound to Wilson’s heart.AP
She spent more than $6,000 on a nose job there and changed her hair color and style to evade authorities before being arrested at a beachside shelter, investigators said.
Armstrong again attempted to escape from authorities during an Oct. 11 medical appointment outside the jail. She faces a separate charge of felony escape.