Kaitlin Armstrong Austin trial has begun
AUSTIN, Texas -- The trial has started for a former yoga teacher accused of murdering an alleged romantic rival in Texas.
In opening arguments for the Kaitlin Armstrong case, prosecutors revealed evidence that the Texas woman gunned down a professional cyclist.
Armstrong is on trial for the murder of 25-year-old cyclist Anna Moriah "Mo" Wilson, who was shot to death in May of 2022.
"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 opening statements Wednesday, prosecutors claimed Armstrong's vehicle was spotted on surveillance near the crime scene, and, after authorities questioned her two days later, the former yoga instructor sold her Jeep for cash and fled to Costa Rica using her sister's passport.
"While in Costa Rica, she has plastic surgery. She spent $6,425 to change her appearance," Jones said.
After 43 days on the run, U.S. Marshals captured Armstrong working at a hostel, sometimes teaching yoga, with a different haircut and color.
Authorities believe she'd viewed Wilson as a romantic rival, and killed her when she thought Wilson was dating her ex-boyfriend.
Prosecutors promised to present a host of new video, ballistics and DNA evidence, including Armstrong's DNA on Wilson's bike. Armstrong has pleaded not guilty.
"Not one witness saw Kaitlin Armstrong allegedly commit this murder because there isn't one," defense attorney Geoffrey Puryear said.
Her attorneys argue she was never seen in-person or on video at the crime scene, and say the prosecution's evidence is not strong enough to convict her beyond a reasonable doubt. They claim she wasn't attempting to flee arrest when she took off for Costa Rica.
"And you're going to hear that she was totally comfortable traveling to far off locations that intrigued her at the drop of a hat, on a moment's notice," Puryear said.
But just a few weeks ahead of the trial, while in custody, Armstrong was captured on video wearing black and white prison pants trying to flee from police after a doctor's appointment.
Authorities say she ran about a mile, trying to jump over a fence, before she was captured again.