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Jury doesn't buy that gun simply 'went off' when man shot, killed 20-year-old woman who accidentally pulled into his driveway
Composite screenshot of two WNYT YouTube videos

Jury doesn't buy that gun simply 'went off' when man shot, killed 20-year-old woman who accidentally pulled into his driveway

A man from upstate New York who shot and killed a young woman who had made a wrong turn into his driveway has now been convicted of her murder.

On a Saturday night last April, 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis, her boyfriend, and others were heading out for a night of fun at a friend's house in Hebron, a rural area of upstate New York near the Vermont border, about 40 miles north of Albany. The group piled into an SUV with Gillis' boyfriend behind the wheel and she in the passenger seat next to him.

That particular area is dark and heavily wooded, and the young people had difficulty finding their way. At some point, they made a truly fatal mistake, pulling into a driveway they thought belonged to their friend.

They were wrong. As Blaze News reported last year, they had accidentally pulled into the driveway of the home belonging to Kevin Monahan and his wife.

The group quickly realized their mistake, and Gillis' boyfriend began trying to turn the vehicle around. Before they managed to leave the property, though, Monahan fired two shotgun blasts, the second of which struck Gillis in the neck.

Gillis died before first responders could attempt to render aid. Police later estimated that the errant SUV was on Monahan's property for no more than 90 seconds.

Monahan was arrested later that night and charged with second-degree murder. Officers on the scene claimed he showed "no remorse."

At his trial earlier this month, the defense team repeatedly argued that Monahan thought his house was "under siege" and that he never intended to hurt anyone. Monahan even took the stand, testifying that he fired the first shot as a warning to scare away intruders. Unfortunately, nails on his porch then caused him to trip, he explained to the jury. He then accidentally dropped the weapon, and as it hit the ground, it "went off."

"I didn’t mean to shoot the second shot," Monahan insisted.

The jury didn't buy it. On Tuesday, despite two weeks of testimony and other arguments, they took less than two hours to find Monahan, 66, guilty. He now faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

Andy Gillis, Kaylin's father, claimed that the family is "very happy with" the verdict. "It’s been a long nine months, and we’ve been waiting for justice, hoping for justice," he said.

"Obviously, it’s not going to change anything. It’s not going to bring Kaylin back, but it’s a start for us to start healing."

After Kaylin's senseless death, the Gillis family moved to Florida to grieve and try to start new lives. Andy Gillis said that while he hasn't yet forgiven Monahan, he may "someday." "Right now, I am not even thinking about that," he told WNYT. "But who knows? Time will tell."

Neighbors in Hebron had little to offer in Monahan's defense, claiming that he often became enraged whenever motorists mistook his driveway for a road. "He had a short fuse," Adam Matthews said shortly after Monahan's arrest. "There was never any doubt he had a short fuse. I think he was a bit of a narcissist."

"He could do no wrong, but everybody else didn’t know jack s***."

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →