Defense plans appeal, expresses condolences to Gillis family

Monahan’s defense team reacts to guilty verdict

Interview with Kevin Monahan's defense team after Kevin Monahan was found guilty of murder.

The attorneys for the man convicted of killing Kaylin Gillis in his driveway said they are disappointed in the verdict and plan an appeal.  

Defense attorney Kurt Mausert said he knew when the verdict came back in less than two hours it is usually not a good sign for the defense.  

“I’m disappointed. I mean this is a case that has been a tragedy from any perspective – obviously especially for the Gillis family,” he said.  

The defense team raised several points during the trial including that they were not allowed to present testimony from an expert regarding Monahan’s emotional state. Also, they wanted the judge to allow the lesser offense of criminally negligent homicide, which would have carried a sentence of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison compared with 25 years to life.  

“The jury did its job the best way it saw how. There are a lot of errors in this trial. There are lots of grounds for appeal. But I don’t want to focus on that right now. The Gillis family deserves a break from litigation and from this,” Mausert said.  

As for his client’s lies to police, Mausert said that when police roll up in somebody’s house in an armored vehicle, he doesn’t believe anybody is at their best under those circumstances. 

“So, Mr. Monahan said some things that he admitted on the stand weren’t true, and I’m sure they came back to haunt him,” he said.  

He said the real issue is the firearm. Long guns do not have the kind of internal safeties that handguns do, and nobody but Monahan was on the deck and can tell what happened when he slipped on the deck and his weapon hit the railing, causing it to discharge.  

Defense attorney Arthur Frost said they have invested months and months of time in the case but it respects the jury’s verdict.  

“We disagree with it, but we respect it. That’s what our process is,” Frost said.

He said that there will be appeal in the case.  

“I wish the Gillis’ as much peace as possible no matter what happens. There’s not a happy in here,” he said.