AUSTIN, Texas - Opening statements in the murder trial of Kaitlin Armstrong began on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Armstrong is accused of shooting and killing professional cyclist Moriah Wilson in East Austin on May 11, 2022.
Assistant District Attorney Rickey Jones named three key players in the case: Kaitlin Armstrong, Colin Strickland and Moriah Wilson.
The jury was told that Armstrong and Strickland had an "on-again, off-again" relationship, and Wilson and Strickland knew each other from the cycling world.
Jones opened with a focus on the victim, known as ‘Mo’ by family and friends, as an up-and-coming professional cyclist who was just shy of 26 years old.
"The last thing Mo did on this earth was scream in terror," said Jones to jurors. "You will hear those screams."
Jones then walked through a timeline of events leading up to, and after, Wilson’s death.
"On May 13, some important things happen, you will see Kaitlin Armstrong on video camera at Carmax in South Austin near their home," said Jones. "On that same day you will see an Uber receipt, she rides an Uber to ABIA."
Jones also spoke about the different types of evidence jurors would be presented with during the trial, including cell phone data and DNA.
In his opening statements, Defense Attorney Geoffrey Puryear emphasized the State has the burden of proof.
"The State just discussed what you will see and what you will hear throughout the course of this trial, but I want to talk to you about what you didn't hear about. You didn’t hear that one witness saw Kaitlin Armstrong allegedly commit this crime, not one, because there isn't one," said Puryear. "And you didn't hear about any camera footage showing Kaitlin Armstrong at the scene of the shooting, despite there being tons of cameras in the area."
Following opening statements, the State called witnesses. The first witness was Wilson’s brother, Matt Wilson.
The second witness was Caitlin Cash, the friend that Wilson was staying with in Austin when she was killed.
Cash found Wilson covered in blood when she came home after dinner the night of May 11.
The recording of her 911 call was played in the courtroom.
"I just walked in, and she’s laying on the bathroom floor and there’s blood everywhere and I don’t know what happened," Cash can be heard saying to the dispatcher.
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She said the last text she received from Wilson was around 5 p.m.: "I think I’m going to go swimming with Colin FYI."
Much of the focus during questioning from both sides revolved around Strickland and Wilson’s relationship both prior and at the time of her death.
Friends and family said Wilson and Strickland had some kind of romantic involvement in October 2021, while Armstrong and Strickland were on a break, but were just friends in May 2022 when they hung out the night of the murder.
Also testifying on Wednesday were members of APD and ATCEMS that responded to the scene.
The trial continues at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2.