Devastated family members of slain professional cyclist Moriah “Mo” Wilson sobbed in a Texas courtroom and at one point walked out as a harrowing 911 call and graphic police body cam footage were played for jurors on the first day of witness testimony.
Kaitlin Armstrong, a 35-year-old Texas yoga teacher, has pleaded not guilty to murder in the May 2022 slaying of Wilson, a competitive gravel and mountain bike racer, in what prosecutors say was a jealous rage over a love triangle.
Wilson had been shot in the head and chest when she was found at a friend’s home before a race that she was among the favourites to win.
Caitlin Cash testified on the stand on Wednesday that she had found her friend covered in blood and not breathing when she returned home from dinner. Her voice cracked as she recalled seeing her feet and thought she was just lying on the bathroom tile floor to cool off. But when she announced her arrival, there was no response.
“She was covered in blood, lying on her back,” Ms Cash told the court as she began to cry. “I immediately bent down and tried to wake her up. Pretty quickly, I called 911.”
Prosecutors then played Ms Cash’s gut-wrenching 911 call where the court could hear crying as she told the dispatcher, “Her brain is leaking.”
An emotional Ms Cash could be heard counting out loud as she follows the dispatcher’s instructions and delivers chest compressions to her friend.
“She is laying on the bathroom floor and there is blood everywhere. I can’t tell what happened,” she is heard telling the dispatcher. “She’s not awake. There is blood all over her face and the back of her head.”
As the 911 call was played in court, Ms Cash was visibly distraught on the stand and many of Wilson’s family left while others were seen weeping in court.
The court later watched body camera footage from the first police officer who arrived and took over resuscitation efforts.
Ms Cash was next to Wilson’s family during the footage that showed her pressing her friend’s chest when police arrived.
Wilson’s father kept his head down and appeared to plug his ears with his fingers. He later told NewsNation’s Alex Caprariello that he didn’t need to hear or see the footage.