Third Circuit Court of Appeal affirms conviction, sentence for Kayla Giles
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Third Circuit Court of Appeal has affirmed the conviction and sentence for Kayla Giles.
Giles was sentenced to life, plus 30 years in prison, in April of 2022 for the September 8, 2018 deadly shooting of her estranged husband, Thomas Coutee, Jr. in the parking lot of the Walmart on 28 West in Alexandria.
The shooting happened during a custody exchange ahead of a birthday party. Giles claimed it was self-defense. Alexandria police arrested Giles for the shooting, and the Attorney General’s Office prosecuted the case on second degree murder and obstruction of justice charges.
A Rapides Parish jury found her guilty on both counts on January 29, 2022. Giles appealed her conviction and sentence based on several claims, including that the trial court didn’t strike two potential jurors for cause, that her trial attorney, George Higgins, was ineffective when he did not move for a change of venue and failed to consult an expert in intimate partner violence.
Giles also claimed the court failed to grant a hearing on a motion for a new trial, and said the evidence used to convict her was insufficient, among other claims. Ultimately, a panel of three judges disagreed, and the conviction and sentence were affirmed.
The prosecutors were Assistant AGs J. Taylor Gray, Joseph LeBeau, Brooke Harris. Giles’ appellate attorney was Jane Hogan. The trial court judge was Judge Greg Beard.
To read the full opinion, click here.
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