Prosecutors Claim Yoga Instructor Killed Boyfriend's Ex Out of Jealousy, Defense Calls Case 'Circumstantial'

Opening statements in the trial of Kaitling Armstrong began Wednesday

<p>Jay Janner/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK</p> Kaitlin Armstrong

Jay Janner/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Kaitlin Armstrong

Opening statements began Wednesday in the trial of Kaitlin Armstrong, the yoga instructor accused of killing elite cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson in 2022.

Prosecutors began to lay out their case that Armstrong was motivated by jealousy when she shot and killed Wilson, who had previously dated Armstrong's on-and-off again boyfriend Colin Strickland, a professional cyclist.

Prosecutors said that Armstrong had access to Strickland's email and Instagram accounts and was aware that he and Wilson had remained in contact and pointed out that Strickland changed Wilson's contact name in order to conceal the relationship. They also claimed she knew Wilson's exact location at the time she was shot.

Related: Yoga Teacher Accused of Killing Cyclist Mo Wilson May Have Used Sister's Passport to Flee U.S.

Armstrong, who is accused of having fled to Costa Rica in the aftermath of the shooting, paid for plastic surgery while in the South American country, prosecutors claimed.

The prosecution also said it would play surveillance audio that captured Wilson screaming in her final moments.

"The last thing Mo Wilson did on this Earth is scream in terror," Prosecutor Rickey Jones said during the opening statements.

The defense, meanwhile, claimed that prosecutors have no hard evidence against Armstrong, saying no camera footage showed her at the scene.

Her attorney said Armstrong is "trapped in a nightmare of circumstantial evidence."

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Authorities accuse Armstrong of shooting and killing Wilson in Austin, Texas, in May 2022 before fleeing the country to Costa Rica, where she allegedly spent over a month on the run, with a passport that authorities say belonged to her sister.

Police were able to track her down through her yoga activities there, PEOPLE reported at the time, and she was flown back to Texas after 43 days on the run.

Wilson previously dated Strickland in 2021 while he and Armstrong were separated. Armstrong and Strickland reconciled, but he remained close with Wilson and the two went swimming together before the shooting, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

Wilson, in town to compete in a race, was found “bleeding and unconscious from multiple gunshot wounds” inside a residence, authorities said at the time.

Related: Texas Woman Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Pro Cyclist Arrested by Feds in Costa Rica

Armstrong was identified as a person of interest after her vehicle was seen on surveillance footage near the scene of the murder.

Earlier this month, Armstrong was charged with allegedly trying to escape custody while being escorted to a medical appointment, according to a report from CNN, citing court documents.

Video obtained by NBC affiliate KXAN shows Armstrong running in striped clothing on a walking track alongside what appears to be a parking lot as an officer runs after her. 

The officer briefly trips and Armstrong is then seen trying to climb up a wall before the video ends.

She was caught after a 10-minute chase, KXAN reported.

The trial is ongoing.

*With reporting by Kristen O'Brien

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