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New York Man Sentenced to 25 Years to Life for Fatally Shooting Woman Following Navigation Error

Kevin Monahan is scheduled for sentencing on Friday, March 1, 2024, at the Washington County Courthouse in Fort Edward, New York.

By Michael Hill | Associated Press

In Fort Edward, New York, Kevin Monahan, aged 66, received a sentence of more than 25 years to life in prison for the tragic death of 20-year-old Kaylin Gillis. The incident occurred when a vehicle carrying Gillis mistakenly entered Monahan’s rural driveway while searching for a party at a neighboring residence in Hebron.

Judge Adam Michelini emphasized the importance of holding individuals accountable for their actions, stating, “I think it’s important that people know that it is not OK to shoot people and kill them who drive down your driveway.” The judge imposed the maximum sentence, considering the impact on the victim’s family and the need to prevent further harm.

Monahan was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Kaylin Gillis, who was part of a group attempting to leave Monahan’s property after realizing their mistake. Despite pleas for leniency from the defense, the judge sentenced Monahan to 25 years to life for murder and an additional one-and-a-third to four years for tampering with physical evidence. A concurrent sentence for reckless endangerment was also issued.

During the sentencing, emotional statements were delivered by Gillis’ father, boyfriend, and best friend, highlighting the profound loss caused by Monahan’s actions. Referring to Kaylin as a “sweet and loving soul,” her boyfriend expressed his grief and inability to forgive Monahan, emphasizing the irreplaceable void left in their lives.

Despite the opportunity to address the court, Monahan chose to remain silent. The judge criticized his lack of remorse, stating, “You deserve to spend the maximum time in prison allowable under the law.”

Following the sentencing, Monahan was escorted away as onlookers expressed their disapproval. Defense attorneys indicated their intention to appeal the decision.

The tragic incident involving Kaylin Gillis garnered widespread attention, echoing similar cases of mistaken shootings across the country. The court proceedings revealed conflicting narratives, with Monahan claiming the fatal shot was accidental due to a defective shotgun, while prosecutors argued it stemmed from irrational anger towards trespassers.

In the aftermath of Gillis’ untimely death, her loved ones continue to grapple with the profound impact of their loss. Her boyfriend recounted the innocence of her character, emphasizing that she posed no threat, while her best friend shared the enduring fear and sorrow that now colors her perception of the world.

Andrew Gillis, Kaylin’s father, lamented the stolen opportunities and moments that defined his daughter’s future, underscoring the daily struggle faced by her family in her absence. The courtroom was filled with poignant reflections on the enduring pain caused by Monahan’s actions, serving as a stark reminder of the irrevocable loss experienced by those left behind.