Hearing to determine if statements made by Kaylin Gillis’ accused killer are admissible

A hearing will be held Thursday in Washington County Court to determine if statements made by the Hebron man accused of shooting and killing Kaylin Gillis will be suppressed.

Attorneys for Kevin Monahan are requesting that the court exclude statements he made to police on the night of the shooting on April 15. Monahan allegedly fired two shots at vehicles that had turned down his driveway after young adults looking for a friend’s house mistook it for a dirt road. One of the shots struck and killed Gillis, 20, of Schuylerville.

Attorneys for the prosecution and defense will be before Judge Adam Michelini for what is formally called a Huntley hearing, which is to determine whether statements made by Monahan are admissible at trial.

Monahan told police that he had been in bed since 8:30 p.m. and that there are “hunters shooting in the area all the time.” When officers asked him what happened, he told them: “Nothing that I know of.”

He initially did not want to walk down his driveway to meet with police, but said he wished they would leave so he could go back to bed.  

Michelini is not expected to rule on the motion at the hearing but will take the matter under advisement.

Attorney Paul DerOhannesian, who is not involved in the case, said that the purpose of a Huntley hearing is to determine the admissibility of statements made to police. It is named after a defendant in a New York state case.

In this case, DerOhannesian said an important question is whether Monahan was in custody when he made statements to police in his driveway that night.

“Was he free to leave?” DerOhannesian said.

If he was in custody, Monahan would have to be read his Miranda rights.

DerOhannesian other issues that come up at Huntley hearings, which are not being alleged in this case, are whether there was any undue coercion or the statement was not voluntarily made.

“If there is a problem with the taking of a statement, it will be suppressed,” he said.

There are exceptions to the rule including whether the suspect made “spontaneous statements.”  

Monahan’s attorneys have filed other motions seeking to have evidence taken at the scene and from his car excluded at trial and to prevent admission of his prior acts. Hearings on those motions will be held at a later date.

Monahan has been charged with second-degree murder, reckless endangerment and tampering with evidence.  The tampering charge stems from allegations that Monahan removed a shell casing at the scene.

A trial has been scheduled for Oct. 30.

NewsChannel 13 will be at the courtroom and have reports online and during its newscasts.

[anvplayer video=”5191272″ station=”998132″]