‘Illegal interrogation’ ruling could jeopardise Mo Wilson murder trial

A Texas court began proceedings last month and a judge is expected to decide on an important question on evidence.

by VeloNews


This story first appeared on VeloNews.com.

A Texas state district judge presiding in the Moriah Wilson murder case is expected to make an important evidentiary ruling this week that could shape the direction of the high-profile case.

Lawyers representing Kaitlin Armstrong — the Texas woman who was arrested on first-degree murder charges in the death of pro racer Wilson — argue that evidence gathered during police questioning should not be available to prosecutors for an upcoming trial, media reports said.

Attorneys argued in court last month that a police interview with Armstrong a day after Wilson’s murder should be thrown out as evidence due to what attorneys say was an “illegal interrogation,” according to media reports.

Attorneys also questioned many of the details that were released in a high-profile affidavit written by Austin police, providing a hint of how the defense might be organized during an upcoming trial.

Armstrong was arrested in June in Costa Rica following a 43-day manhunt after she fled the United States in the wake of the May 11 murder in Austin. She is facing first-degree murder charges as well as other charges linked to the use of a false passport.

A pre-trial hearing in Austin last month saw Armstrong appear before a judge  for the first time since she was arrested in the murder of Wilson, who was shot and killed in May while in Texas to race in a gravel event. Armstrong pled not guilty in July, and is being held in a Texas jail.

Armstrong’s legal team is arguing that police did not follow correct procedures and did not read her Miranda rights when they questioned her on May 12, a day after Wilson was found shot dead in an apartment of a friend.

Lawyers say Armstrong asked five times to leave before Austin police released her, in part because a misdemeanor warrant that allowed police to bring her in for questioning was invalid.

Armstrong later sold her vehicle and fled the United States using another person’s passport, and eluded authorities until she was discovered in a surf town in Costa Rica.

Last month, the judge indicated a ruling on the evidence could come as early as this week.

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