Kaitlin Armstrong pleads ‘not guilty’ to charge of first-degree murder of Moriah Wilson

Armstrong was captured in Costa Rica after more than 40 days on the run from US authorities following murder of gravel cycling star

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

Kaitlin Marie Armstrong, the woman formally charged with the first-degree murder of elite cyclist Moriah Wilson has pleaded ‘not guilty’ in a Texas court

Numerous U.S. authorities including the U.S. Marshals Office of International Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, the Department of State Diplomatic Security Service worked with Costa Rican authorities to locate and arrest Armstrong after she fled to Costa Rica after the incident. 

She was arrested in the country on 29 June after an arrest warrant was issued on 17 May. 

Armstrong was taken to Travis County Jail in Texas, and appeared in Travis County Court yesterday where she gave her plea of ‘not guilty’. 

Before her court appearance, Armstrong’s lawyer filed a motion for a speedy trial, according to Texas court records. However, prosecutors have argued that they haven’t yet received all the evidence in the case so it is too soon for them to go to trial. 

Rick Cofer, Armstrong’s lawyer, believes that a lot of information in the media is ‘simply not accurate’. 

After the court appearance on Wednesday, Cofer said: "All I can ask of the press here is that you not consider everything told to you by law enforcement as confirmed and reportable facts. Simply put, there's a lot more to the story than has yet been heard."

Cofer also reportedly said that he will file motions challenging the conduct and investigation of the Austin Police Department. 

At the time of her arrest, Armstrong’s bail from Travis County Jail was set at $3.5 million. A separate bail bond of $3,500 was also added after she was charged with theft of service. 

Moriah Wilson was found dead on 11 May with multiple gunshot wounds at the home of a friend in Austin, Texas. 25-year-old Wilson had travelled to the city to compete in the ‘Gravel Locos’ event, a 150-mile gravel race that she was favoured to win. 

After police initially questioned Armstrong on 12 May, she then fled the state for New York. Police then issued a warrant for her arrest for first-degree murder on 17 May, and the next day she was spotted at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. 

US Authorities believed that Armstrong fraudulently used the passport of a close associate to fly to Costa Rica and whilst there, she used several fake names in order to avoid detection before she was then found and arrested. 

She now faces an additional federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. 

Since her death, friends and family of Wilson have set up a GoFundMe page in memory of the racer

Tributes have also poured in from across the global cycling community.

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