New details emerge in Kaitlin Armstrong’s botched escape plan before cyclist murder trial

Surveillance video of Ms Armstrong’s jail cell revealed details of her escape plan

Andrea Cavallier
Monday 23 October 2023 17:01 BST
Kaitlin Armstrong briefly escapes from custody

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Louise Thomas

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New details have emerged around Kaitlin Armstrong’s botched plans to escape custody ahead of her trial for the murder of renowned Texas cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson.

Ms Armstrong was hit with additional charges of escape causing bodily injury after briefly getting away from corrections officers during a doctor’s appointment on 11 October. Details of her preparations for the escape were revealed in a new affidavit.

She is currently awaiting trial for the murder of Wilson, who was found dead in May 2022.

Ms Armstrong allegedly fled to Costa Rica in June 2022 but was later deported back to the United States and charged with first-degree murder. She has pleaded not guilty.

An arrest affidavit obtained by Court TV this week revealed she appeared to have spent time planning last week’s escape.

Investigators reviewed surveillance video footage of Ms Armstrong’s jail cell and found that she had spent the last several months “running, doing squats, and yoga throughout her dayroom and recreation time.”

It was also determined that Ms Armstrong had complained about a leg injury in order to get an outside medical appointment, “as well as a medical request restricting the use of leg restraints.”

The exercise and the alleged leg injury were highlighted as evidence that Ms Armstrong planned the escape attempt, according to the affidavit.

Investigators said they also found a metal pen and dental floss inside her cell. A pin had been broken off the pen, and officers said it may have been used to remove her handcuffs.

Kaitlin Armstrong faces charges of murder, first degree felony, and theft of service
Kaitlin Armstrong faces charges of murder, first degree felony, and theft of service (Travis County Jail )

Ms Armstrong was leaving an appointment at Ascension Orthopedics through the rear doors when she took off running. She ran for about one mile before officers stopped her.

“During the foot pursuit, officers advised inmate Armstrong to remove her county-issued black and white striped uniform pants, which revealed she was wearing thermal pants underneath in an effort to disguise her appearance as an inmate,” according to the affidavit. “Inmate Armstrong was also able to manipulate her left hand from the hand restraints to assist in her attempted escape.”

In a video that captured her escape attempt, Ms Armstrong could be seen running across a lawn toward a brown wooden fence. A corrections officer pursued but slipped as she gave chase. Ms Armstrong leaped onto the fence, but was eventually caught by the corrections officers.

Ms Armstrong’s first hearing on the new escape charges is scheduled for November. She is set to stand trial on 30 October for the murder of Wilson.

The cyclist was found dead on 11 May 2022, with multiple gunshot wounds. Her body was found at a friend’s home in Austin, Texas, after she had reportedly gone to swim with Ms Armstrong’s boyfriend, Colin Strickland. Mr Strickland is also a professional cyclist.

Mr Strickland said the pair swam together, had dinner, and then he dropped her off at the home where she would later be found dead.

Investigators believe romantic jealousy may have motivated the shooting.

Mr Strickland previously toldThe Sun that the police affidavit implying he was still romantically involved with Wilson was “skewed”.

Mr Strickland admitted dating Wilson in October 2021 during a break from his relationship with Ms Armstrong, adding that she was also seeing other men at the time.

But he insisted that since then his friendship with Wilson had been “strictly platonic” since then.

Ms Armstrong’s attorney, Rick Corfer, said last year that his client "wants her day in court" and wants "a trial."

“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," he said at the time.

He previously said a fair trial would be “impossible” due to existing biases in the case.

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