ALEXANDRIA, Louisiana (KALB) – Kayla Giles has filed her federal response to an ongoing civil attempt to recover money from a self-defense insurance policy she purchased when she killed her ex-husband in a Walmart parking lot on Sept. 8 2018.
Giles was found guilty by a Rapides Parish jury on January 29 of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the shooting death of Thomas Coutee, Jr. during a custody exchange. She will be sentenced on March 28. In Louisiana, a second degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.
Twelve days before Giles killed Coutee, Jr., she purchased the gun she used in an Academy history in Dallas, Texas, and a self-defense policy of “platinum member” status. According to a complaint filed by Giles in September 2019, United Specialty Insurance Company and/or Delta Defense, LLC paid $50,000 for the legal defense of the total authorized amount of $150,000. However, they “declined additional payment” due to the pending criminal charges she faced in Rapides Parish for second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
The complaint also said that Giles had incurred charges and expenses “exceeding” the policy’s amount limits.
The federal case was on hold until the criminal case was completed. Judge Dee Drell lifted a “stay”, which now allows the case to move forward, earlier this month.
United Specialty Insurance Company and Delta Defense, LLC are trying to get Judge Drell to grant a motion for summary judgment, which could essentially free them from the legal issue. On Tuesday, Giles’ attorney, Thomas ‘Rocky’ Willson, filed responses to those motions.
The motion for summary judgment filed by United Specialty Insurance Company was filed under seal in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana in Alexandria, so its contents are unknown. However, the answer to the motion filed by Willson is not sealed.
In his response, Willson wrote that Giles, during his criminal trial, “did not testify and continues to maintain his innocence.” Willson wrote that the issue before the Federal Court “is whether the plaintiff’s actions constitute an act of self-defense within the meaning of the policy. Specifically, the issue is whether the force used was against “an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm by an assailant”, was “reasonable in the circumstances and proportionate to the threat”, and “authorized by applicable law”. .
Willson said the facts listed by the insurance company are “substantially correct.” However, he challenged “the conclusion reached” by the insurance company.
In his argument, Willson noted that the phrase “imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm” is “subjective”. Willson essentially argues that Giles believed Coutee, Jr. was a threat and that’s why she shot him, and because of that, “plaintiff was in compliance with the terms of the policy.”
Willson filed a much shorter response to the motion for summary judgment filed by Delta Defense, LLC. That company wants its motion granted because it believes Giles cannot present any evidence that the company is an insurance company “or was involved in denying his claim.”
In his official response, Willson wrote that Giles “has no response” to the motion filed by Delta Defense, LLC.
Both companies now have seven days to submit their responses to Giles’ responses to the court.
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