A federal judge dismissed Kayla Giles' claim against two companies that decided her self-defense claim in the fatal shooting of her husband wasn't covered under a policy she had purchased.
U.S. District Judge Dee Drell issued his ruling on Tuesday. He dismissed Giles' case against Delta Defense LLC with prejudice, meaning Giles cannot revive that claim later.
But he dismissed claims against United Specialty Insurance Co. without prejudice, writing that she could pursue them again if her conviction is reversed on grounds of self-defense.
Giles was found guilty on Jan. 29 of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the Sept. 8, 2018, death of Thomas Coutee Jr.
From hearings in the case and through her trial, Giles' defense team claimed she was acting in self-defense when she shot Coutee once in his chest during a child swap in the Coliseum Boulevard Walmart parking lot.
Testimony during the first hearing in the case revealed she had bought the Ruger LCP .380 pistol 12 days before the shooting at a Dallas store. She also bought a membership in the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) with one of the benefits being self-defense liability coverage that could cover up to $150,000 in legal fees.
Verdict and reaction: Kayla Giles found guilty of 2nd-degree murder, obstruction of justice
Giles called the insurance company to open a claim on that policy while still at the shooting scene, according to trial testimony. The prosecution told jurors Giles' 911 call lasted 13 seconds, and the call to the insurance company lasted just over three minutes.
While Giles did receive an initial $50,000 payment so she could retain an attorney, the insurance company soon halted further payment.
Drell's ruling states that decision was made after Giles' first defense attorney, Paul Carmouche, turned over to the insurance company the evidence he'd received from the state in the discovery process.
The company reviewed it and ruled the policy did not apply.
Delta had claimed during previous filings that it is not an insurance company, but an intermediary that provides coverage to USCCA members. Because of that, it insisted United should be the party in the lawsuit — not it.
Drell's ruling states Giles doesn't dispute that, so Delta should be dismissed from the lawsuit.
And Drell wrote that he agreed with United's assertion that a jury must reject self-defense claims to reach a guilty verdict on the second-degree murder charge.
"Although Giles' criminal defense included claims of self-defense, the jury found otherwise, and such a finding precludes an apprehension of 'imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm by an aggressor' or that the 'force used (was) both reasonable under the circumstances and proportionate to the threat.'"
Giles is set to be sentenced on March 28.
This article originally appeared on Alexandria Town Talk: Companies dismissed from Kayla Giles' lawsuit, but ruling leaves door open