NATIONAL NEWS

Man to be sentenced for murdering a woman who was mistakenly driven up his rural New York driveway

Feb 29, 2024, 10:06 PM

FILE - Defendant Kevin Monahan, left, listens to opening statements in his murder trial, Jan. 11, 2...

FILE - Defendant Kevin Monahan, left, listens to opening statements in his murder trial, Jan. 11, 2024, at the Washington County Courthouse in Fort Edward, N.Y. Monahan, who fatally shot a 20-year-old woman when the SUV she was riding in mistakenly pulled into his rural driveway, could face decades in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Friday, March 1, 2024. (Will Waldron/The Albany Times Union via AP, Pool, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(Will Waldron/The Albany Times Union via AP, Pool, File)

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — A man who fatally shot a 20-year-old woman in an SUV that was mistakenly driven up his rural driveway in upstate New York is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Kevin Monahan, 66, was convicted of second-degree murder in the death last April of Kaylin Gillis. Gillis was riding in a caravan of two cars and a motorcycle that pulled into Monahan’s long, winding driveway in the town of Hebron while her friends were looking for another person’s house.

The conviction carries a maximum sentence of 25 years to life, which prosecutors previously said they would be seeking.

Gillis’ death drew attention far beyond upstate New York. It came days after the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl in Kansas City. Yarl, who is Black, was wounded by an 84-year-old white man after he went to the wrong door while trying to pick up his younger brothers.

On the night of Gillis’ death, the group of friends were headed to a party when they accidentally turned down Monahan’s driveway. Monahan came out of his home and fired two shots from his deck, the second striking Gillis in the neck as she sat in the front passenger seat of an SUV driven by her boyfriend.

Monahan maintained the fatal shot was an accident involving a defective gun and that he believed the house he shared with his wife about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Albany was “under siege” by intruders. He said he came out with a shotgun to try to scare the group away while his wife hid inside.

Prosecutors argued that Monahan was motivated by irrational rage toward trespassers.

A jury deliberated for less then two hours before returning guilty verdicts in January against Monahan for murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence.

Gillis’ father, Andrew Gillis, has described his daughter as someone who loved animals and had dreams of becoming a marine biologist or a veterinarian

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Man to be sentenced for murdering a woman who was mistakenly driven up his rural New York driveway