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Defense moves to continue Kayla Giles trial ahead of jury selection next week

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 10:19 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The defense attorney for Kayla Giles, the Alexandria woman charged with second degree murder and obstruction of justice for the Sept. 2018 shooting death of her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr., is asking that her trial be continued.

Giles has pleaded “not guilty” in the case and maintains that the shooting in the Walmart parking lot on Highway 28 West in Alexandria was self defense.

On Wednesday afternoon, her attorney, George Higgins, filed a motion to continue the trial. Jury selection was set to begin May 18.

In the motion, Higgins argues that a deadline was set for Nov. 4, 2019 for the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office to provide the defense with discovery. Higgins writes that based upon that material provided by the prosecution, motions were filed, hearings were held and supervisory writs were taken to the Third Circuit Court of Appeal.

Last week, the Third Circuit ruled on the writs, and “that decision required further hearings in the trial court prior to the commencement of the trial which have not yet occurred or been scheduled,” writes Higgins.

Higgins states that he filed for a review of the Third Circuit decision with the Louisiana Supreme Court five days after the Third Circuit released its decision, on May 8. The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office filed an opposition on May 11.

Higgins also states that he just recently received a copy of transcripts from a “Rule to Show Cause” held before Judge Patricia Koch on Aug. 13, 2018 that he says “is filled with extremely exculpatory evidence.” He also writes that he also received this week a document from the prosecution “containing over 73,000 pages which the prosecution states was in the possession of law enforcement but had not been previously provided to it.” He writes “the item (an external disc drive) contains 1,588,171 more items than were previously provided to the defense.”

Higgins writes that the defense “does not have time to determine if any of the information provided might be inculpatory or exculpatory, and/or have an expert witness examine same.” For those reasons, he’s asking for Judge Greg Beard to continue the trial.

A hearing on the matter is set for Friday, May 14. Assistant Attorney General Brooke Harris represents the state on the case.

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