NATIONAL NEWS

New York man sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing woman when car turned in wrong driveway

Mar 1, 2024, 9:45 AM | Updated: 9:47 am

Kevin Monahan was convicted of second-degree murder, among other charges..
Mandatory Credit:	Lori V...

Kevin Monahan was convicted of second-degree murder, among other charges.. Mandatory Credit: Lori Van Buren/The Albany Times Union/AP via CNN Newsource

(CNN) — Kevin Monahan was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in prison for shooting and killing a woman who was a passenger in a car that mistakenly drove up his driveway in rural New York last year.

“I think you really could possibly do the same thing again,” Washington County Judge Adam Michelini admonished Monahan before imposing his sentence. “It’s obvious to me that you feel justified. You don’t take any responsibility for the outcome of your actions. You just don’t get it.”

Monahan last month was convicted of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence for the death of 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis on April 15, 2023.

Monahan shot at the vehicle when it accidentally turned into his driveway while the occupants looked for a friend’s house in Washington County, roughly 55 miles north of Albany. Gillis died a short time after the shooting.

Prosecutors argued that the 66-year-old defendant acted recklessly. The defense said what happened was a terrible accident.

Monahan took the stand at his trial, testifying that he felt like he and his wife were under siege that day and that he only wanted to protect his wife, Spectrum News 1 reported.

Monahan told jurors that he and his wife were awakened by three vehicles in his driveway: two SUVs and a motorcycle revving its engine, the station reported. He testified that he told his wife to hide in their closet and he loaded his 20-gauge pump-action shotgun before going outside.

Monahan testified that he thought about past criminal activity in the area and fired a warning shot into the air. The vehicles began to leave slowly, he testified, and he lost his balance on some nails on his deck when the second fatal shot was fired, Spectrum News 1 reported.

Under cross-examination, Monahan was not able to point out in a photograph the nails that caused him to lose his balance. He was emotional when asked how Gillis’ death made him feel, telling the jury that his “soul is dead,” the station reported.

Gillis was fatally shot just days after a Black teenager in Kansas City was shot twice by a White homeowner after going to the wrong address to pick up his siblings.

In the New York shooting, after the shots were fired Gillis’ group drove away from the house, looking for cell phone service, and then called 911.

They were found around 5 miles away from the home in the town of Salem. First responders began administering CPR but Gillis was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police officers went to Monahan’s home in Hebron and found him to be uncooperative, the Washington County sheriff told reporters at the time.

Gillis’ family issued a statement at the time praising her as a “kind, beautiful soul and a ray of light to anyone who was lucky enough to know her.”

“She was a big sister, much loved daughter, devoted friend and partner to her loving boyfriend. She was just beginning to find her way in the world with kindness, humor, and love,” the family said. “Kaylin was a talented artist, an honor student, a Disney fanatic and loved animals. She was looking forward to starting college in Florida to pursue her dream of becoming a marine biologist.”

Gillis graduated from Schuylerville High School in 2021 and held the position of “flyer” on the cheerleading team.

This is a developing story and will be updated.


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New York man sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing woman when car turned in wrong driveway