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Kaitlin Armstrong found guilty of killing pro cyclist Mo Wilson. Here's what to know about the case.

Capturing Moriah Wilson’s Killer
Capturing Moriah Wilson’s Killer 42:02

A jury reached a guilty verdict on Thursday, Nov. 16. See full coverage on CBS News.

When up-and-coming pro cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson was killed, it rocked the cycling world. Known as "Mo," the 25-year-old had started racking up wins in a new, rapidly growing area of the sport called gravel racing — until May 11, 2022, when a friend found Wilson fatally shot on the bathroom floor just days before a big race she was favored to win.

The convicted killer, Kaitlin Marie Armstrongg, also has ties to the cycling world. The longtime girlfriend of another pro racer, Colin Strickland, Armstrong faces up to 99 years in prison. She has pleaded not guilty.

Here's what to know about the trial, which began Oct. 30.

This undated photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, who is accused of killing professional cyclist Moriah "Mo" Wilson.  U.S. Marshals Service via AP, File

Who is Kaitlin Armstrong?

Kaitlin Armstrong is a 35-year-old yoga teacher and real estate agent who lives in Austin, Texas. She also owned a business with Colin Strickland, with whom she lived and had a long-term, off-and-on relationship.

While the two were separated, the 36-year-old Strickland briefly dated Wilson, with whom he remained friendly.

What happened to Mo Wilson?

Wilson was staying with a friend ahead of a big race in Austin. Strickland told police after the murder he had picked her up earlier that day and the two had gone for a swim at a local public pool. He said he had dropped her off around 8:30 p.m.

Prosecutors allege that Armstrong had tracked the pair on fitness app Strava, where Wilson logged her workouts, and had been checking Wilson's location

Wilson was shot in the head and chest, and was found by her friend Caitlin Cash, who testified in the first week of the trial. A visibly emotional Cash recounted to the jury returning to her apartment and finding Wilson covered in blood. Jurors also heard a recording of the 911 call from the night of the murder where Cash tried to revive her friend. 

Cyclist Killed Texas
Caitlin Cash, right, is embraced during the first day of trial for State of Texas v. Kaitlin Armstrong at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, in Austin, Texas.  Mikala Compton / AP

"The last thing Mo did on this earth was scream in terror. Those screams are followed by 'pow! pow!'" Travis County Prosecutor Rick Jones said in his opening statement, clapping his hands. Seconds later, he said, Armstrong shot Wilson a third time.

Those screams were captured on surveillance video, which prosecutors said would be played for the jury.

Prosecutors told the jury Armstrong's Jeep had been seen near the apartment where Wilson had been staying. 

Armstrong's attorney said there are no witnesses to the killing or video evidence putting Armstrong at the scene.

Why did Kaitlin Armstrong go to Costa Rica?

In the aftermath of Wilson's killing, police questioned her and let her go. Before they issued an arrest warrant for her on May 19, authorities said Armstrong sold her Jeep for cash, boarded a plane from Austin to New York City, and flew from Newark, N.J. to Costa Rica. She allegedly used her sister's passport for the international trip.

In Costa Rica, authorities said, she taught yoga and had plastic surgery to change her appearance. Prosecutors told the jury she had cut and colored her hair.

Her attorney Geoffrey Puryear said, "She would have no reason to know about any (arrest) warrant. You will hear Kaitlin is passionate about traveling and passionate about yoga," reported CBS Texas.

Armstrong was arrested by U.S. Marshals at a hostel on Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas after nearly six weeks and returned to the U.S.

Three weeks before the trial, on Oct. 11, Armstrong allegedly tried to escape custody. Authorities said she ran from officers escorting her to a doctor's appointment but did not leave officers' sight and only made it about half a block.

Woman wanted in cyclist's killing arrested in Costa Rica 00:25

What was Kaitlin Armstrong charged with?

Armstrong had pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder in Wilson's death. She faces up to 99 years in prison, and prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

Armstrong was also charged with escape causing bodily injury, a felony, for the Oct. 11 incident, and had pleaded not guilty. She could face up to 20 years in prison.

What did Colin Strickland say in his testimony?

Strickland, an elite-level gravel racer himself, told jurors in his testimony his relationship with Armstrong started via a dating app in 2019. The two reportedly each dated other people during breakups in their more than two-year on-and-off relationship. Armstrong had access to his communications, Strickland said, and he changed the name associated with Wilson's contact information in his phone to avoid conflict with Armstrong.

CBS Austin reported Strickland testified in a low, quiet voice and seemed upset as he took the stand on Nov. 3.

Strickland said his relationship with Wilson, while briefly romantic, was primarily a friendship. He testified that he loved Armstrong, but was unsure that the two could make a long-term relationship work.

Wilson was "an immense talent," he told the jury. 

His testimony continued Nov. 6, as he was quizzed about messages between himself and Wilson and with Armstrong, including about a gun. CBS Austin reported he appeared "uncomfortable and agitated" and pushed a photographer out of his way during lunch, knocking the man's camera away.

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