Caitlin Armstrong’s ex-boyfriend testified about their “tumultuous” relationship Friday as the Texas yoga teacher goes on trial for the fatal shooting of romantic rival Anna Moriah “Moe” Wilson.
Wilson, 25, a professional cyclist, was found with multiple gunshot wounds at a friend’s home in Austin, Texas, on May 11, 2022, in what police said at the time appeared to be a targeted killing.
Armstrong, 35, faces a first-degree murder charge in connection with Wilson’s death, with prosecutors saying they have video, cell phone, ballistics and DNA evidence proving she pulled the trigger.
Armstrong pleaded not guilty. Her attorney told jurors during opening statements this week that the state and investigators were “so desperate to keep Kaitlyn Armstrong in their crosshairs that they had tunnel vision and jumped to conclusions.”
Wilson was once romantically involved with Armstrong’s then-boyfriend — Colin Strickland, a fellow professional cyclist — and was found shot to death hours after meeting him in Austin, police said.
Strickland testified about his relationship with the defendant, which he described as “on-again-off-again” and at times “tumultuous.”
Strickland testified that he once loved Armstrong and believed that she loved him too. However, Strickland recalled being afraid to form a long-term relationship with her, which created tension. The two lived together through the breaks of their relationship, during which Armstrong sometimes confronted him about his electronic communications with other women, he said.
Strickland testified that he met Wilson while in Bentonville, Arkansas, for a cycling race in October 2021, and that he and Armstrong broke up shortly after that race.
Days later, Strickland said he learned Wilson was in Austin for a race and they began dating. During that period, Strickland testified that he recalled learning that Armstrong had contacted Wilson to confront her about the relationship, which he found “strange and unnerving.” Strickland testified that he did not recall saying anything to Armstrong about the relationship with Wilson.
Wilson would leave Austin for another racing commitment, leaving on good but casual terms with Strickland, he said.
Strickland said he and Armstrong rekindled their romantic relationship until December 2021 and characterized his relationship with Wilson as “professional” and friendly but not romantic — messaging about gear, upcoming races, logistical information and sponsorship opportunities. Although he was “simply avoiding conflict” with Armstrong, Strickland said he changed Wilson’s phone name to an alias – “Christine Wall” – and deleted their text threads so as not to “agitate the defendant”.
On May 11, 2022, Strickland texted Wilson, who was in Austin for a race, and the two met to go swimming and get burgers and beer before he dropped her off at her friend’s house that evening. he said. Strickland testified that he did not tell Armstrong about this plan because of “past experience with the defendant,” although he said Armstrong “definitely” had access to the Apple account associated with the phone he used to text Wilson .
The next morning, Austin police showed up at his home to notify Strickland of Wilson’s death and bring him to police headquarters for questioning, he said. After telling Armstrong about Wilson’s death and the murder investigation. Strickland testified that her demeanor appeared to be “shocked.”
During the interview with investigators, Strickland said he learned that a vehicle matching the description of Armstrong’s SUV was seen near Wilson’s stairwell the night she was killed. Armstrong was also questioned by police that day, he said.
The next day, he said he planned to get a new phone, since his was with the police, and to meet with a lawyer. He said he then drove to his property in Lockhart, south of Austin, where Armstrong left him a note saying she tried to drive Strickland’s mother’s car but stopped because the smell of gas, he testified. After that day, he said, he “never saw the defendant again.”
A day after being questioned by police about Wilson’s murder, prosecutors say Armstrong sold her SUV and later fled to Costa Rica. She was arrested in June 2022 after a 43-day search of a hostel on Santa Teresa beach in Puntarenas province.