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Killer yoga instructor: Jury selection begins after failed prison escape

By CM Chaney · October 31, 2023

In brief…

  • Kaitlin Armstrong accused of murdering boyfriend's ex Moriah Wilson out of jealousy in May 2022
  • Evaded police for weeks after killing, undergoing plastic surgery as a fugitive
  • Arrested 43 days later in Costa Rica after anonymous tip; had been teaching yoga while on run
  • Earlier this month, faked injury to escape jailers after rejecting plea deal; recaptured
  • Faces up to 99 years in prison if convicted; has pleaded not guilty, trial starts today
Kaitlin Armstrong (left) in the driver's license photo circulated by the FBI while they were looking for her last year and (right) after undergoing plastic surgery in Costa Rica  Harris County Sheriff's Office / Travis County Sheriff's Office

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of Kaitlin Armstrong, accused of murdering cyclist Moriah Wilson in May 2022 out of jealousy over Wilson’s romance with Armstrong’s boyfriend.

Armstrong evaded police for weeks, undergoing plastic surgery while a fugitive before a dramatic capture in Costa Rica.

Wilson, a rising star in mountain biking, was found shot dead in an Austin apartment on May 11th. She’d had dinner with Armstrong’s boyfriend Colin Strickland earlier that evening. Strickland admitted to previously dating Wilson in a separation from Armstrong, whom he’d reconciled with. But he was ruled out as a suspect.

Surveillance footage showed a vehicle similar to Armstrong’s outside Wilson’s apartment. Questioned on May 13th, Armstrong allegedly admitted it “doesn’t look good” but gave no explanation. She sold her car the next day, then fled to Costa Rica using her sister’s passport.

Armstrong was arrested 43 days later after an anonymous tip. Authorities said she’d gotten a nose job and dyed her hair brown to alter her appearance. She’d been teaching yoga and visiting hostels while on the run.

Earlier this month, Armstrong faked a leg injury to convince jailers to transport her unshackled to a doctor’s appointment, where she made a bold escape attempt. Video shows her sprinting away in a striped jumpsuit before being recaptured. A metal pin found in her cell likely helped remove handcuffs.

Prosecutors say she’d trained vigorously for months to increase chances of escape. The effort came after she’d rejected a plea deal that would have significantly reduced her sentence if convicted. She faces up to 99 years in prison for murder.

Armstrong has pleaded not guilty. Her attorneys allege prosecutors are ignoring evidence of her good character. She has not spoken publicly on the accusations. Surveillance footage of her vehicle and an alleged admission will be key evidence.