A yoga teacher accused of killing love rival and professional cyclist Anna Moriah Wilson before going on the run for 43 days has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Attorneys for Kaitlin Marie Armstrong told a hearing in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday that she wanted to exercise her right to a speedy trial and they were ready to go before a jury as early as September, CBS Austin reported.
Prosecutors indicated they would not be ready that soon, and a judge ultimately set a date of 24 October for the trial to begin.
Outside court, Ms Armstrong’s attorney Rick Cofer told reporters that the defence would show investigative missteps and reiterated that his client was innocent.
Ms Armstrong, 34, spent nearly seven weeks at large after being charged with the murder of Ms Wilson in May.
She used aliases and fake passports to first travel to New York, before catching an international flight under a different identity to Costa Rica.
US Marshals and local authorities tracked Ms Armstrong down to the popular Pacific coast beach resort of Santa Teresa.
The 34-year-old real estate agent and yoga enthusiast was arrested at Don Jon’s Lodge in Santa Teresa, where Marshals said she had been trying to set up a new life.
She was extradited to the United States on 2 July and is being held on a $3.5m bond for the first-degree murder of Ms Wilson.
Witnesses at the hostel where Ms Armstrong was arrested said she had plastic surgery and change her hair in an attempt to avoid detection.
Ms Wilson, 25, was a competitive gravel and mountain bike racer from Vermont. She was found dead on 11 May in her friend’s Austin, Texas apartment.
That day, she met fellow pro cyclist Colin Strickland, with whom she had an on-again, off-again relationship when Ms Strickland and his then-girlfriend Ms Armstrong were on a hiatus.
The two went for a swim and then got dinner, before Ms Wilson returned to the friend’s apartment.
Police say Ms Armstrong entered the apartment and shot Ms Wilson three times in a bathroom. Her SUV was spotted on a neighbour’s surveillance camera at the time of the shooting.
In January of 2022, Ms Armstrong had learned about the relationship and was “furious and was shaking in anger,” saying she wanted to kill the female cyclist, an anonymous tipster told Texas police, according to court documents.
Ms Armstrong was interviewed by police on 14 May, three days after Ms Wilson was shot.
But she was released without charge, sold her Jeep Grand Cherokee to a dealership for $12,200 before flying from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Houston Hobby and then taking a connecting Southwest flight to LaGuardia in New York.