The former boyfriend of yoga teacher-turned-accused-killer Kaitlin Armstrong took the stand on Friday, describing Armstrong as a jealous, “passive aggressive” girlfriend who had access to all his electronic devices and social media accounts.
Colin Strickland, who said he had a “tumultuous” on-again-off-again relationship with Armstrong, was one of the last people to see champion cyclist Anna Moriah “Mo” Wilson alive before Wilson’s May 2022 death in Austin, Texas.
Strickland and Wilson had remained friends after a brief fling but he hid the friendship from Armstrong, he testified Friday, even going so far as to delete messages and save Wilson in his phone under the pseudonym “Christine Wall.”
He lied to Armstrong on the day of Wilson’s death, saying he was running errands when he was actually meeting up for a swim with Wilson, who was in town for a gravel race. But prosecutors say a jealous Armstrong had snooped on Strickland’s messages.
Soon after Strickland dropped Wilson back at a friend’s house, Armstrong’s black Jeep could be seen on CCTV waiting outside. Prosecutors say she then ambushed Wilson, shooting her twice in the head before standing over her and firing a third bullet in her heart in a murder that was captured on audio.
Strickland, himself a champion cyclist, said Friday that Armstrong managed his career and therefore had passwords for all his social media accounts, electronic devices, and bank accounts. She had a jealous streak, he said, not only towards Wilson but also other women he interacted with.
In one instance, Strickland said he posted a video to Instagram of a race finish in which Wilson could be seen in the background. “Send my love to Mo,” Armstrong commented beneath the video, according to Strickland, who described the message as “extremely passive aggressive.”
On the day he met Wilson for a swim, Armstrong called and texted Strickland several times but he ignored it. On his way home, he lied and said he had gone to deliver weed to a friend, he testified. Armstrong wasn’t at home when he got back, and she wasn’t answering her phone, but she eventually arrived and was calm and collected, he recalled.
The next morning, detectives turned up at Strickland’s home to tell him Wilson had been killed. He was “shell shocked,” he said, especially when investigators told him about a black Jeep seen near the murder scene. He described Armstrong as similarly shocked when he relayed the news shortly after.
“You must have asked her if she was at Mo’s apartment that night?,” prosecutors asked Strickland, who replied that he did.
“She gave me a list of her whereabouts. She said she went to a waxing appointment, a yoga class, then visited a healer,” he said, according to a Fox 7 reporter in the courtroom on Friday.
Strickland said he spent the next couple of days being interviewed by police, buying a new phone to replace one he’d handed over to authorities, talking to Armstrong about getting an attorney, and otherwise trying to maintain a sense of normalcy. Then he never saw his girlfriend again.
Armstrong allegedly sold her car, used her sister’s passport to flee to Costa Rica, and spent thousands on plastic surgery before she was captured in June 2022 after 43 days on the run.
Strickland appeared “defeated” and “sad” as he testified Friday, according to NewsNation reporter Alex Caprariello. “He keeps his head low. His hands and elbows are on the witness stand,” he noted. He is set to return to the stand on Monday.