Lawyers for a Texas woman accused of murdering a love rival and fleeing the country are arguing to have a key police interrogation thrown out of her trial, while an expert slammed a police affidavit for her arrest as a “borderline character assassination.”
Austin Police charged Kaitlin Armstrong with the murder of professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson, who was killed on May 11 following a date with Colin Strickland, who had been Kaitlin’s boyfriend.
Armstrong’s attorney said his client was brought in for questioning on May 12 on a theft warrant for not paying for $650 worth of Botox at an Austin spa, but was instead questioned about Wilson’s murder.
Her attorney, Rick Cofer, is now arguing for the interview by Austin PD to be thrown out as evidence at her trial.
He claims police never fully read her Miranda rights to her because they were interrupted by a knock at a door and the arrest warrant is not be valid since as it listed Armstrong’s birthdate incorrectly.
During the questioning, Armstrong, 34, told police she wanted a lawyer and wanted to leave, but they continued to ask her questions about the murder, according to her attorney.
Retired Plano Police. Lt. Douglas Deaton was brought in as an expert witness for the defense and testified during a pre-trial hearing that Armstrong’s interview was a “case study of how not to interview a homicide suspect,” according to Fox News Austin.
He added the affidavit used to arrest her was a “borderline character assassination,” which he said detectives had used to try and “paint a picture” of the suspect, and it did not have “the quality of writing [he] would expect from a fully formed police department.”
He also added the questioning should have stopped when Armstrong asked for an attorney.
After her interview with police, Armstrong — a yoga instructor — sold her car and left the US for Costa Rica. She was caught in June at a yoga retreat after an international manhunt wearing a bandage on her nose, with shorter, dyed hair and using a different name.
She was extradited to the US and is currently jail held on a bond of $3 million.
Armstrong’s lawyers have previously argued there is nothing illegal about her actions and slammed a detective’s original affidavit in support of a warrant for her arrest, saying it has many factual errors, and “incorrect assertions.”
They also blasted police for holding a press conference after her arrest and claim the attention they brought on the case means she would not be able to get a fair trial.
The defense wrote in a filing: “The result of this widespread, biased publicity is that there is virtually nowhere in the English-speaking world where Ms. Armstrong could receive a fair trial today.”
Strickland has repeatedly said to detectives he did not believe Armstrong was responsible for the murder and she was not a jealous or violent person.
The judge will rule on whether to allow Austin Police’s interrogation as evidence in Armstrong’s trial on Nov. 9. Her trial is set to begin shortly after.