Jury convicts Giles of first degree murder in death of Kim Batty
By KEITH WALTHER
For The Vista
It was day filled with mixed emotions.
Last Friday, as the verdict of guilty rang out in the Crossville courtroom and spread like wildfire throughout the Fairfield Glade community, residents felt relief, happiness that justice was served — and yet, an empty feeling that reminded them that fellow resident Kim Batty is gone.
John Giles Jr. was found guilty of first degree murder in the slaying of Ms. Batty, 58, in her Fairfield Glade home in November of 2012. He will serve a life sentence for his crime.
“In talking to people in the Glade, it certainly brings closure to everybody and especially and more importantly, to her family,” said Glade resident Mark McClenathan, an acquaintance of Batty’s. “If he had been found innocent, there would have been some concern in the community that there might be someone still out there who did the commit the crime and that person is still at-large. But gladly, that is not the case.”
In a statement made to The Vista in November of 2012, Fairfield Glade Security Chief Randy Hoover assured the Glade community that, “… that this case is receiving top priority.”
Hoover held to that promise as Glade Security, the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation worked long and hard together on the case.
As reported in The Vista on Dec. 8, 2012, investigators say that Giles and Batty had been in a relationship for approximately four months before her murder. Sources allege that Giles was “possessive” of Batty.
As the investigation continued and evidence was obtained, it was determined that Giles allegedly killed Batty in her home located at 154 Dovenshire Drive in Fairfield Glade.
On Wednesday, November 7, 2012, at approximately 6 P.M., Cumberland County E-911 received an emergency call concerning an unresponsive female at 154 Dovenshire Dr. Reports are that it was Giles who called 911.
Fairfield Glade Public Safety responded to the scene, along with Cumberland County Emergency Medical Services.
Shortly after their arrival, Fairfield Glade Public Safety requested Investigators from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department to respond.
A short time later Investigators with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrived and began investigating the crime scene as a homicide.
Ms. Batty was discovered lying in the living room area of her home with apparent injuries to her head.
At completion of autopsy, it was revealed that Ms. Batty had suffered mortal wounds as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation.
Various circumstantial evidence piece had investigators focused on Giles early on.
Cumberland County Sheriff’s Investigator Jerry Jackson said in court that “DNA, fingerprints, hair … he was the last one to see her…,” were all reasons to believe that Giles had committed the crime.
A TBI agent testified that inconsistencies in Giles’ story did not add. For example, Giles failed to tell them that he had returned to the Batty home at 12:30 p.m., claiming to be somewhere else.
But that went against what a key prosecution witness said on the stand last week. Glade resident and neighbor of Batty, Joy Miller, testified that she saw Giles drive up to the residence on Nov. 7, shortly after 12:30 P.M., in his white van.
She said they briefly spoke before Giles entered Batty’s house.
Miller testified that she was certain of the time because her favorite soap opera was on TV from 11:30 to 12:30 P.M. and that she went to retrieve her mail when the show ended.
Miller noted that she knew Giles was the one who often visited Batty.
TBI Special Agent Jennifer Shipman, a forensic science expert, testified that she found no signs of semen on Batty’s body or on her clothing. There was blood found on the kitchen floor and a tissue found nearby that Shipman said belong to Batty.
Another key witness for the state was William Ross Crabtree, who was in the same jail cell as Giles in March 2013 after being arrested for failure to pay child support.
Crabtree testified that Giles told him that, “I didn’t mean to kill her but I did.”
Later, Giles backtracked, saying to Crabtree that if he told anyone of his confession that he would have to kill Crabtree.
Fairfield Glade Public Safety Officer Sgt. Charles Laxton testified that Giles seemed unemotional when he talked to him at Batty’s driveway at 154 Dovenshire on the Nov. 7 evening after Giles made a 9-1-1 call claiming he had discovered Batty’s body.
Laxton stated he stayed with Giles outside the residence as Giles asked him several times, “Is she dead?” Meanwhile, Laxton observed blood on Giles’ shirt and his cheek.
Giles would later claim that Batty scratched his face accidently in the days before her death as he caught her when she fell off a coffee table trying to replace a light bulb.
Also telling was the fact that Giles said that Batty had traveled to Crossville that November morning, but she received a phone call from an exterminating company telling her she needed to return to her home for the exterminator.
However, Jackson said that when investigators checked with the company, they said they had not called Batty.
McClenathan noted that a crime of this sort is rare in Fairfield Glade and residents realize that fact.
“It was a sad event for sure,” he said. “But that kind of thing can happen anywhere these days. Really, people hadn’t been talking about it that much in the last year and a half. So I don’t think it has a negative effect.”