FIRST ON 13: Judge allows most statements made by Kaylin Gillis’ accused killer at trial
A judge has allowed most statements made by the man accused of killing Kaylin Gillis to be used at trial.
Kevin Monahan is charged with murder in the shooting death of the 20-year-old Schuylerville woman who was a passenger in an SUV that had had turned around in his Hebron driveway on April 15.
Monahan’s attorneys sought suppress various statements on the ground that he had invoked his right to counsel. They also claimed that he was in custody because he was not free to leave the property and that he was not read his Miranda rights.
In a six-page decision issued on Thursday, Judge Adam Michelini allowed prosecutors to use statements Monahan made to responding officers including telling them to come up this house to talk to him since he did not want to walk down and his calls to dispatchers to ask if it was really in his driveway were permitted.
Michelini wrote that officers who were first at the scene had a right to make inquiries because there was a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was present. They were dispatched to the area because someone had suffered a fatal gunshot wound from someone in the defendant’s residence.
Police had limited information during the time they were at the scene. They had to obtain answers including how many people were in the home, according to Michelini.
“They needed to collect information and assess the situation to see if anybody else was in danger and at the same time protect themselves,” Michelini wrote. “Much of the defendant’s behavior increased this uncertainty. He continually exited and entered the home and refused to answer questions It had the potential to be a very volatile situation and the body camera footage demonstrates this.”
Michelini wrote that law enforcement left Monahan’s home partially surrounded for most of the 1 ½ hours they were there. He wrote that Monahan was known to have access to a deadly weapon. Also, the officers were a considerable distance from the residence and took cover whenever he exited the home.
“The driveway was blocked by a patrol vehicle, although a vehicle could have likely passed the patrol car,” Michelini said.
Despite the presence of officers on his property, Michelini wrote that for the most part, no officer was physically in Monahan’s presence and he retained a “degree of freedom inconsistent with a formal arrest.”
When Monahan said he needed to call his lawyer, Michelini said that was not “an unequivocal invocation of his right to counsel.”
Michelini granted one request to suppress the statements he made to police in response to questions about whether he heard anything that night. He said that there were people hunting with dogs and he went to bed at about 8:30 p.m. Monahan’s attorney, Kurt Mausert, was on the call via speakerphone, at that time.
The trial is scheduled to begin later this month.
See below to read a transcript of Kevin Monahan’s interaction with police on the night of the shooting.