Cyclist killer Kaitlin Armstrong ordered to pay victim’s family $15m

A judge has ordered Kaitlin Armstrong to pay $15m to the family of Anna Moriah Wilson, a rising pro cyclist she was convicted of fatally shooting in Texas.

Armstrong was sentenced to 90 years in prison for the May 2022 slaying, which took place hours after the victim went swimming and had a meal with Armstrong’s boyfriend, former pro cyclist Colin Strickland.

The trial was told that 25-year-old Wilson had a brief romantic relationship with Strickland months earlier.

Wilson’s family brought a civil wrongful death lawsuit in Travis County, Texas, in early May seeking millions of dollars in damages.

Judge Daniella DeSata ruled on Monday that $5m should be paid each to Karen and Eric Wilson for “mental anguish, including emotional pain, torment and suffering from the death of [their] daughter,” the court documents state, obtained by KXAN.

Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson was one of the top gravel racing cyclists in the world (Instagram/Mo Wilson)
Moriah ‘Mo’ Wilson was one of the top gravel racing cyclists in the world (Instagram/Mo Wilson)

The parents were also granted $2.5 million each for exemplary damages, “in an amount which the court determines sufficient to deter the same or similar actions which gave rise to this suit by [Armstrong] in the future.”

The judge entered a default judgment after Armstrong did not respond to the lawsuit nor made an appearance in the case by the deadline.

Randy Howry, who represented the Wilsons in the suit, told KXAN that the legal action ensured that Armstrong did not benefit from her criminal trial from any book or movie deal.

“If there’s ever an opportunity for her to financially benefit from this crime, this judgment will prevent her from getting any of that money until my clients are properly compensated,” he told the outlet.

"The worst day in the lives of Plaintiffs Karen and Eric Wilson and their son Matt Wilson was May 12, 2022," the lawsuit read, according to CBS News. "That is the day they learned that Defendant Kaitlin Marie Armstrong shot and killed their only daughter, Anna Moriah Wilson, affectionally known as ‘Mo.’"

It went on to allege that Armstrong "was handling her firearm negligently, unlawfully, wantonly and recklessly and in violation of laws, statutes and ordinances intended to protect people" when she shot Wilson. The lawsuit also claims that Armstrong assaulted Wilson when she shot her.

Kaitlin Armstrong was captured and is now serving 90 years in prison (US Marshals)
Kaitlin Armstrong was captured and is now serving 90 years in prison (US Marshals)

A jury took just two hours of deliberation to find Armstrong guilty of first-degree murder and she was later sentenced to 90 years in prison.

Wilson had arranged to meet Strickland, also a professional cyclist, whom she had an on-again, off-again relationship with when he and his then-girlfriend, Armstrong, were on a hiatus, according to a police affidavit.

Later that night, Wilson was pronounced dead after being found bleeding and unconscious with multiple gunshot wounds.

She was briefly taken into custody, but detectives could not hold her after they learned the arrest warrant was not valid.

Before she was eventually put on trial, however, Armstrong had spent weeks on the run, fleeing to Costa Rica, triggering an international manhunt that eventually led them to the surf resort of Santa Teresa after a source told them she could be hiding out there.

Armstrong is currently incarcerated at the Gatesville Corrections Centre in Texas.