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Kayla Giles asks for judge’s permission to relocate to New York for work

Hearing set for Nov. 9 in Rapides Parish 9th JDC
Kayla Giles
Kayla Giles(RPSO/KALB)
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 11:39 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - 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. in a Walmart parking lot, is asking a Rapides Parish judge to allow her to relocate out of state for work. Giles maintains the shooting was self-defense.

On Monday, her attorney, George Higgins, filed three motions for Judge Greg Beard to consider in the case. Her trial, which is set for May 2021, was continued from May 2020 due to COVID-19 delays.

In the motion pertaining to employment, Higgins writes that Giles “has been offered employment at the Veteran Benefits Administration Central Office as a Veterans Claim Examiner.” The position is scheduled to begin at the end of November and is located in Buffalo, NY. According to Higgins, it “would require that the defendant relocate until a position becomes available at the Pineville office.”

Higgins writes that Giles has submitted more than 130 job applications to date. He said she was previously offered a position working for DoorDash, but was “forced to quit said job at DoorDash because of the media, public outcry and calls to her employer from the community.”

Back in August, Giles filed for an LLC in an effort to open a daiquiri bar in Glenmora.

Higgins believes that Giles should be permitted to gain employment and has “financial obligations.” He stresses that she “has been charged with a crime, however she has not been convicted.” And, “additionally, she has no prior criminal history.”

Higgins writes Giles will continue to travel to Rapides Parish for all hearings in her case and continue to obey the conditions of her bond, including wearing the GPS monitoring device.

In a second motion, Higgins asks Judge Beard to modify Giles' existing bond conditions as it pertains to a pending child custody matter in Oklahoma.

Back in March, Judge Beard amended the conditions of her bond after an unauthorized attempt to visit her daughter in Oklahoma. In this motion, Higgins writes that a judge in Oklahoma recently granted Giles weekly phone communication with the girl, who is a witness to the Alexandria shooting. In a Rapides Parish order, Giles is not permitted to have contact with the child because of the child’s status as a witness. The Oklahoma order allows for recording of the call and orders that “no conversation shall take place about the civil or criminal case.”

Higgins writes that Giles' minor daughters have had “no contact” with her for nearly 18 months and it “is clearly in the best interest of the minor children to have some form of contact with their mother, even if it is limited to telephone conferences." He also writes that “each and every” phone call will be recorded. He also states that “these child witnesses gave statements immediately after the (Sept. 2018) incident in question which are extremely favorable and exculpatory for the defendant.”

A third motion filed by Higgins asks Judge Beard to enforce that the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office not refer to Giles as “the murderer” or make reference that the victim “was murdered" in open court. Higgins says that has happened “on a number of occasions.”

All three motions are set for Nov. 9.

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