Mo Wilson's family describe 'ripple effect of sorrow' in victim impact statement

Moriah Wilson en route to victory at the 2022 Rock Cobbler 9.0
Moriah Wilson en route to victory at the 2022 Rock Cobbler 9.0 (Image credit: PureGravel)

The family and friends of Moriah "Mo" Wilson said they are ready to put the ordeal of the two-week trial of now-convicted murderer Kaitlin Armstrong behind them, having the final word in the proceedings at the sentencing hearing with their victim impact statements.

Armstrong was found guilty of murdering Wilson on May 11, 2022, on Thursday and was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

Caitlin Cash, who was hosting Wilson in Austin, Texas described having to go back to her apartment and live in the scene of the crime, while Wilson's mother Karen addressed Armstrong to say her actions had caused "a ripple effect of sorrow upon sorrow upon sorrow".

Wilson's father Eric appeared to place some blame on Armstrong's partner Colin Strickland, who had incited her jealousy by having a brief romantic encounter with Mo Wilson the previous year.

Strickland lied to Armstrong on the day of Wilson's murder, telling her he was 'delivering flowers' when he was in fact taking Wilson for a swim and dinner.

In a statement outside the court, Eric Wilson said, "This sad story is a perfect example of why integrity and honesty are crucial in our personal relationships, and how dishonesty can often lead to unintended consequences.

"Selfish manipulation, jealousy and hatred never lead to positive outcomes. Violence is never a good way to solve personal issues. In fact, violence doesn't solve anything. It only leads to more suffering."

Eric Wilson finished by stating, "Our lives have changed forever, but with this challenging ordeal behind us we are ready to move forward and continue our healing. We will do this with Moriah's strong, determined, gentle and kind spirit."

The testimony of Cash and Karen Wilson bared the heartbreak they had been suffering for 555 days.

Cash described trying to revive an already dead Wilson as the "longest 10 minutes of my entire life", saying she "assumed that as soon as she was taken to a hospital, that she was going to be OK".

"It never actually crossed my mind in the chaos of that night, that she wouldn't be alive. That she would die," Cash said. "Her mom asked me ... if I thought it was quick. And I said yes, I thought it was quick.

"At no point in my life did I think I would ever have to tell someone's mother that I thought their daughter's death was quick.

"It has been exhausting showing up every day here in court, listening, watching, reliving every moment from so many different angles. It feels so real all over again. I go home every night to my house after watching video after video of it all day here and there's Mo's ashes sitting on my bedside table waiting for me.

"I still feel so many things - guilt for not protecting Mo, for not coming home sooner. I'm angry at you, at the utter tragic nature, at the senselessness, at not being able to hear Mo's voice again. Those closest to her knew she had no limits. And it was an honour, a privilege to be in her orbit, even for only a short time."

Karen Wilson started her testimony addressing Armstrong by saying, "I hate what you did to my beautiful daughter. It was very selfish and cowardly. It was cowardly. Because he never chose to face her woman to a woman in a civil conversation. She would have listened. She was an amazing listener. She would have cared about your feelings. She was a caring empathetic person. If you allowed yourself to actually know her. You've never, ever would have wanted to hurt her.

"When you shot Moriah in the heart, you shot me in my heart. You shot Eric and Matt in the heart.

"There is no winner in this story. Your actions have caused all sides to suffer. There is a ripple effect of sorrow upon sorrow upon sorrow. Moriah is free of this sorrow, though. She is more alive today than any of us here."

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