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Kayla Giles trial on track to begin Jan. 24

Jury selection begins Jan. 18
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:15 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish Judge Greg Beard held a status conference hearing on Jan. 12, 2022, to make sure everything is on track for the trial of Kayla Giles.

Giles is charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice for the Sept. 2018 shooting death of her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr., in an Alexandria Walmart parking lot. Giles maintains it was self-defense.

Jury selection will begin Tuesday, Jan. 18, and the court is prepared for the process to go through Friday, Jan. 21. A total of 400 jury summons were administered, but only 300 were asked to come in on Jan. 18. The remaining 100 will report to the court if it is necessary on Jan. 21.

The trial is set to start on Jan. 24.

The trial date was initially set for May 18, 2021, but Judge Greg Beard granted a continuance motion by defense attorney George Higgins, after both the defense and the State thought it best to move the trial date. The key reason behind the move was that computer techs with the Rapides Parish Sheriff’s Office finally managed to break the encryption on Giles’ personal computer through the use of new technology and her cellphone.

Assistant Attorney General Joseph Lebeau is prosecuting the case on behalf of the state.

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