Closing arguments planned for today in driveway shooting trial
Closing arguments are set for today in the murder trial of the Washington County man accused of shooting and killing a woman in his driveway last April.
The trial was postponed on Monday because of illness.
Monahan’s attorneys filed a motion asking that the jury be allowed to be consider the lesser included offense of criminally negligent homicide. That carries a maximum sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison compared with up to 25 years to life for murder.
Prosecutors have not rebutted Monahan’s claim that the second fatal shot was accidental, according to the attorneys. Monahan testified that he tripped over some protruding nails on his deck and banged his gun against either the post or the railing, causing the weapon to discharge.
In their response, prosecutors said that Monahan indicated he intended to fire a weapon when he fired a warning shot and was prepared to fire another round if they did not leave his property.
Second-degree murder requires proof that Monahan was aware of a risk and “consciously disregarding” that risk. Criminal negligence is a lower standard of “failing to perceive a risk” that death will occur.
Judge Adam Michelini will have to rule on this motion, and one presented by the defense to dismiss the charges on that they have failed to prove their case.
Closing arguments will be next and then Michelini will instruct the jury.
NewsChannel 13 will have team coverage of the trial and will bring you the latest developments at WNYT.com and beginning Live at Noon.