Kaitlin Armstrong murder trial: delays as judge considers defense motion to suppress evidence

Ruling expected from judge Brenda Kennedy on November 9 ahead of trial for shooting of Moriah Wilson

Kaitlin Armstrong
(Image credit: U.S. Marshals Office/Austin City Police Department)

The judge in the upcoming murder trial of Kaitlin Armstrong, accused of shooting  cyclist Moriah Wilson, is expected to give her decision on November 9 regarding two motions from Armstrong’s defense team to suppress evidence. 

The trial was expected to begin last month, but according to Cyclingnews (opens in new tab) has now been delayed pending Judge Brenda Kennedy’s decision regarding two motions. 

Armstrong was charged on 11 May with the first-degree murder of Wilson in Texas. She is currently being held in custody at the Travis County Jail in Austin and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

On 19 October, Armstrong’s defense team requested that some of the evidence in the case was thrown out. Rick Cofer, Armstrong’s attorney has already claimed that the investigation and information used to support the warrant for his client's arrest contains “factual errors” and “incorrect assertions”. 

Cofer also previously suggested that due to the “widespread, biased publicity”, a fair trial was not possible for Armstrong. 

Armstrong’s defence have now also argued against the legality of the initial questioning of their client in May. It has been suggested that when she was brought in with an outstanding class B warrant for her arrest that concerned an unrelated incident, she was then briefly detained and questioned about the death of Wilson. 

Cofer and his team say that the interview conducted by a detective was an “illegal interrogation” because the class B warrant was unrelated to the murder investigation. Furthermore it has been suggested that the detective in question did not read Armstrong her rights during the questioning. 

Armstrong was released from custody at that point due to a discrepancy around her date of birth in her files and the class B warrant. 

In the earlier stages of the investigation, authorities discovered through the assistance of US marshals, that Armstrong had sold a black jeep that belonged to her on 13 May. 

Investigators believe the vehicle “appeared to be the same vehicle observed on surveillance footage” outside the East Austin home crime scene on 11 May. 

Armstrong then fled the country on a flight out of Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, USA. After a 43-day hunt for the suspect, Armstrong was eventually located and apprehended in Costa Rica before being deported back to the United States. 

She was then formally charged with the first-degree murder of Wilson and has awaited a jury trial to begin. 

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