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A lawyer for captured fugitive Kaitlin Armstrong is accusing police of using an invalid arrest warrant against the Texas yoga-instructor-turned-murder-suspect, according to local reports.
Armstrong, 34, is accused of killing cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson, 25, in Austin in May and using a sport that was not hers to try and evade arrest. She was on the run for 43 days before US Marshals captured her on a remote beach in Costa Rica after Austin police obtained a murder warrant in Wilson’s death.
But Rick Cofer, Armstrong’s attorney, is arguing that a misdemeanor warrant obtained by the Austin Police Department (APD) in May used in Armstrong’s initial arrest — before she was released — was invalid, and therefore prosecutors should not be allowed to use evidence gathered against the suspect thus far, The Austin-American Statesman first reported.
He also alleges that when APD officers initially questioned Armstrong at her home on May 12 following Wilson’s May 11 shooting death, they did not read her Miranda rights and did not let Armstrong leave until she asked for the sixth time.
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Detectives apprehended Armstrong that day on an outstanding class B warrant for her arrest. Authorities interviewed the 34-year-old but mistakenly released her from custody on the misdemeanor warrant because her date of birth in the department’s report management system does not match the date of birth on the warrant, according to Austin Police Department Homicide Det. Richard Spitler.
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Cofer is arguing that because the warrant was allegedly invalid, prosecutors should not be allowed to use evidence in the case because it was gathered under inappropriate terms, according to the Statesman.
Neither Cofer nor the Travis County Attorney’s Office immediately responded to inquiries from Acesparks Digital.
Wilson had been in Austin for a bike race in May.
Armstrong’s boyfriend, 35-year-old professional cyclist Colin Strickland, told police that he had picked up Wilson, whom he knew from previous races and a brief fling in October 2021, on his motorcycle to go swimming on the day of her death. He also told police he lied to Armstrong about his whereabouts before dropping off Wilson that night after they got food, but he apparently did not see “anyone nearby.”
KAITLIN ARMSTRONG: TEXAS FUGITIVE USED ALIASES UNTIL COSTA RICA COPS DETENTED HER ON IMMIGRATION CHARGES
Security footage obtained by police apparently shows a black SUV with a large bike rack rking near the Maple Avenue residence a minute after Wilson returned home on the evening of May 11. The next day, the US Marshals Texas Lone Star Fugitive Task Force drove to Strickland’s address, where Armstrong was living, and observed a 2012 black Jeep Cherokee with a large bike rack “that appeared to be the same vehicle observed on surveillance footage.” Strickland told police that the Jeep belonged to Armstrong.
On May 13, Armstrong sold her black Jeep Grand Cherokee that allegedly appeared in surveillance footage outside the Austin home where Wilson was staying on the day of her death. Four days later, APD issued a warrant for her arrest in connection with Wilson’s death, but Armstrong was nowhere to be found.
Officers discovered two 9 mm guns in Strickland’s home, one of which investigators determined to be “significant to the investigation.” The professional cyclist told authorities he purchased two firearms between December 2021 and January 2022, including one for Strickland.
Armstrong openly used a sport that did not belong to her when she flew to Costa Rica, where she settled into a hostel in Santa Teresa Beach in Provincia de Puntarenas, authorities said at the time.
A GoFundMe called the “Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson Fund” created by her family says “Moriah inspired many, lived fully, and loved fiercely.” The fundraiser aims to garner donations “to help fund community organizations that help youth find self-confidence, strength, and joy through biking, skiing, and other activities that Moriah was passionate about.”