AUSTIN, Texas - Closing arguments just wrapped up in the Kaitlin Armstrong murder trial. The defense and prosecution rested Wednesday evening.
Armstrong faces 99 years in prison if convicted for the murder of Anna Moriah Wilson, and another 20 years for her attempted escape in October.
On Wednesday evening, there was an interesting interaction with the judge, the prosecution, Armstrong, and her defense attorneys as they discussed the decision of whether Armstrong would testify. Armstrong was evidently conflicted as she told her attorney she didn’t want to. When she walked back to her seat, she mouthed something to her parents, and they left the room.
The jury has listened to more than 40 witnesses testify over the past nine days.
Armstrong is accused of killing Wilson in May 2022 in East Austin.
The defense called back up to the stand Colin Strickland, the man who seems to be the reason why the women knew each other. An answer the court has heard many times from him was repeated on Wednesday. As the defense rattled off questions about whether Strickland ever lied to Armstrong, or even lied by omission, he replied, "I don’t recall." The defense stated he seemed comfortable with misinformation.
A forensic metallurgist and materials scientist also testified to the subjective nature of analyzing tool markings, which the prosecution used to try to prove the likelihood the casings found at the crime scene came from Armstrong’s gun.
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Matthew Quartaro, a DNA consultant, also took the stand and discussed transfer DNA after Wilson and Armstrong’s DNA were found on Wilson’s bike and Strickland and Armstrong’s DNA were found on the guns discovered at Strickland’s home.
"You agree that a person’s DNA can be in a place that they’ve never even been?" the defense asked, "And it can be on an item that they’ve never even touched?"
"Correct," Quartaro said.
The defense rested. Then the state called a forensic scientist who said it’s more likely Armstrong placed her DNA on the bike, not that Wilson transferred Armstrong’s DNA to it. The state then rested.
Closing arguments will begin Thursday, Nov. 16, then the jury will be tasked with delivering a verdict.