Defense seeks to dismiss case, says prosecutors didn’t prove Monahan showed ‘utter disregard’ for life
Before his client took the stand, Arthur Frost, the attorney representing the man accused of killing Kaylin Gillis in his driveway last April, filed a motion to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the prosecutors have not proven their case.
Kevin Monahan, 66, is facing charges of second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Gillis, 20, who was a passenger in a vehicle that had mistakenly turned up his Hebron home on April 15, 2023.
First, Frost said that the prosecution did not provide proof that Monahan had fired the gun.
“No witness can or will identify Mr. Monahan as the man who pulled the trigger,” he said.
Frost later withdrew that portion of his motion, when Monahan took the stand and admitted to firing the gun, but said the second shot was fired accidentally and he did not intend to kill Gillis.
Frost’s other points of contention were that prosecutors have not proven that his client has shown “utter disregard” for human life.
To prove second-degree murder, people must show that Monahan acted with “depraved indifference.”
“The prosecution has failed to show a grave and unjustifiable risk and that Mr. Monahan was aware of and disregarded that risk,” Frost said.
Regarding the tampering with physical evidence, Frost said prosecutors have not provided proof that anybody tampered with or destroyed evidence.
He repeated something he cited multiple times during the trial that nobody entered or left the Monahan residence from the time of the 911 call to when the Monahans were taken into custody.
During the trial, there was testimony from forensic investigators that there was not sufficient DNA found to make a match on the handle of the gun or the barrel.
DNA was found on the forearm portion of the shotgun that was confirmed to be Monahan’s. The chance of it being someone other than Monahan was put at 1 in 54.3 billion.
There was also no gunshot residue found on the gun.
“There was no proof that anybody altered, concealed or destroyed the gunshot residue,” Frost said.
Frost also raised issue that multiple crimes are being alleged – fingerprints being removed from the gun, gunshot residue being altered or concealed or destroyed and the gunshot shells being concealed or destroyed.
He took issue with the words “and/or” in the indictment. Members of the jury may not be unanimous as to which one or more of those crimes they believe he may have committed.
“The alternatives are too diverse to be deemed a single offense,” he said.
In his response, First Assistant District Attorney Christian Morris said that the testimony of Monahan’s wife and the youths prove that there was only one person at the residence who had a gun. Again, that point was later rendered moot afterward when Monahan took the stand.
As for the standard of depraved indifference, Morris cited other court cases that said firing into a crowd of people meets that standard. Monahan’s actions were similar by firing into vehicles, which could have had at least 11 people inside.
“Aiming a gun at these individuals and disregarding the potential result is reckless,” she said.
As for the tampering charge, Morris said Jinx Monahan had said she saw her husband pick up a shell.
In addition, one of the witnesses testifed that there were small lights moving around the property between the time the youths are leaving the property and police arriving.
Morris also noted that if the prosecution brought forth multiple tampering charges for each potential element, the defense would complain that the charges were unfairly being multiplied.
Judge Adam Michelini said he would reserve judgment on the motion.
The jury was excused for the day at 1 p.m. After a lunch recess, the attorneys were working on some administrative business.
The trial will resume on Monday with closing arguments. Then, after the judge gives the charge, the jury will have the case.