Steve DiGioia

An Accidental Killing Turned into Remorse and Guilt for the Killer as His “soul is dead”

The man who shot a woman just because she had mistakenly driven her car in his driveway said he feels like his “soul is dead.”

The Case

Kevin Monahan, 66, fatally shot a 20-year-old woman who mistakenly drove up to his backcountry driveway in New York for which he testified on Friday. He said that it was an accident as the shot went off and he feels remorseful for his action.

The trial that took place at the Washington County Courthouse on Jan 11, was for a second-degree murder charge as the victim, Kaylin Gillis, died due to the gunshot for which he took the stand in his defense.

Monahan has been in jail since the incident with extra charges of reckless endangerment and interfering with the evidence.

The Incident

 It happened in April when Kaylin was riding in a group of two cars and a motorcycle that mistook his house for the one they were finding and pulled up in his driveway. The caravan included Gillis, her boyfriend and two of their friends.

According to the authorities, Monohan had fired two shots out of which the second shot hit Gillis’ neck.

Monohan is from rural Hebron, 40 miles north of Albany, and he believed that his home was under siege, about to face an invasion. Out of fear and confusion, when the caravan pulled up in his driveway, he tried to scare them off with his shotgun but ended up accidentally pulling the trigger, while all along his wife was hiding in a closet.

In his defense, he also said that being alone, a person has to think of the worst-case scenario and protect their family, according to the Times Union.

In his cross-examination, he also mentioned that the first shot was a warning sign for the intruders acting like the start of his intention.

While doing so, he tripped over some nails in his deck that hurt his feet as he was wearing flip-flops. Due to this, he lost his balance and accidentally fired his shotgun at the group which struck Gillis. 

Monahan’s attorney, Arthur Frost, questioned him about the second shot; he declined to pull the trigger.

He also cried while testifying in the trial and said the incident has left “a hole in me.” Feeling very remorseful, he had no words to describe how he felt.

The defense attorney Christian Morris asked him whether he initiated any questions regarding their business in his driveway or told them to go away, to which he replied that it would have made the situation worse in his state of mind.

Prosecutors were against his statements and called him deprived of emotions and human life.

Although he said he called 911 after the incident when the police came up to his house, Morris stated his earlier testimony that he was asleep, proving he had never called 911 as well as the police.

He was the only witness called for his defense apart from his attorneys, as no one else witnessed the accidental crime.

After hearing both sides, the trial was settled on Friday, for which the closing statement would be announced on Monday.


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