Kaitlin Armstrong, the Austin, Texas, woman accused of gunning down pro cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson earlier this year, returned to court Wednesday as the judge rejected her defense’s motions to suppress evidence and set a June trial date.
The former yoga instructor’s defense attorney Rick Cofer had asked the court to throw out parts of her initial interview with police that he says were collected unconstitutionally. He had previously sought a speedy trial.
Judge Brenda Kennedy rejected the arguments Wednesday and scheduled the jury docket call for June 22, court records show.
Armstrong, 34, is accused of ambushing Wilson, 25, who investigators allege was a perceived romantic rival who had gone on a date with Armstrong’s live-in boyfriend, Colin Strickland, 35, another professional rider.
After a snafu over an unrelated warrant Austin police had used to take Armstrong into custody shortly after the slaying, she was not read her Miranda rights. And despite asking to leave multiple times after she had been told she could, and asking for an attorney, police continued questioning her.
The interview was later cited by detectives in the affidavit seeking a warrant for her arrest on murder charges, which the defense is also challenging as misleading and insufficient.
“There are gonna be a lot of challenges around this case now,” said Robert Riggs, a Texas-based journalist behind the True Crime Reporter podcast and “Freed to Kill” on Fox Nation. “I think this ruling sets up the defense for an appeal post-trial if it doesn’t go their way.”
Testifying during last month’s pretrial hearing, former Plano Police Lt. Douglas Deaton, an expert witness for the defense who previously signed an affidavit condemning the warrant, called the warrant affidavit “borderline character assassination” and blasted the detectives for what he called inexperience.
Armstrong was questioned and released. Then 43 days later, police arrested her on a Costa Rican beach following a manhunt that sent marshals from Texas to New York to New Jersey before Central America. She had allegedly dyed her hair and assumed a new identity.
Kaitlin Armstrong, left, pictured during an interrogation with Austin Police Department Detective Katy Conner in May. (Austin Police)
Wilson’s friend found her slumped over in a pool of blood in the bathroom of the Austin apartment days before the gravel cycling star was expected to compete in a race in Hico. She had “multiple gunshot wounds.”
Earlier that evening, Wilson had gone swimming with Strickland at the Deep Eddy Pool and then to the Pool Burger, a bar and restaurant across the street. Strickland drove Wilson back to her friend’s place on his motorcycle and had misled Armstrong about his whereabouts throughout the evening, according to the affidavit.