Kaitlin Armstrong trial: Prosecutors showcase DNA evidence on day 8

On the eighth day of testimony in the Kaitlin Armstrong murder trial Tuesday, prosecutors showcased DNA evidence they say shows Armstrong killed professional cyclist Moriah Wilson at an East Austin home in May 2022.

Samantha Perkins, a DNA supervisor with Texas DPS, took the stand. Perkins analyzed DNA swabbed from Wilson’s bike and Armstrong’s gun, among other things, against samples from Armstrong, Wilson, Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend Colin Strickland, and Caitlin Cash, whose home Wilson was found in.

Perkins says the evidence indicates Armstrong and Strickland’s DNA were both on the gun. Cash and Wilson’s DNA were not. Meanwhile, Armstrong's and Wilson’s DNA were found on Wilson’s bike. Cash and Strickland’s DNA were not.

"There is a very strong likelihood that the DNA on the handlebars included DNA from Kaitlin Armstrong," said Assistant District Attorney Rickey Jones in opening statements November 1.

Questioned by the defense, Perkins acknowledged the evidence indicates DNA from another unknown person was also found on the gun, as well as on the bike, and that Armstrong’s Jeep was not tested for DNA.

"The state's purported forensic science is inaccurate, is unreliable and unscientific," said defense attorney Geoffrey Puryear during opening statements November 1.


Prosecutors called to the stand Deputy Medical Examiner Bernadette DeRussy, who performed Wilson’s autopsy the day after she died. DeRussy showed the jury photos of Wilson’s wounds, three gunshots going through her face, head, and chest, and another gunshot wound on her finger. Wilson also had defensive wounds, indicating she was fending off an attacker.

Another focus Tuesday was Armstrong’s attempted escape from custody on October 11. One of two Travis County officers who transported Armstrong to a doctor’s appointment that day took the stand. She said Armstrong slipped away while a nurse spoke to the officers, and didn’t have leg restraints on because of doctor’s orders. Prosecutors showed the jury three videos of Armstrong fleeing on foot, and the officer chasing after. 

The officer testified Armstrong seemed calm after she was captured.

Late Tuesday afternoon, jurors heard from a criminal intelligence analyst, talking about phone records from Armstrong, Wilson and Colin Strickland.